Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who is a readiness screening for?
The readiness screening is for an adolescent or young adult who has a known medical issue, condition, or traits that could make driving an added challenge or risk. The screening is used to begin pre-planning for the tasks of driving or community mobility. For example, most commonly a Readiness to Drive Screening is done with a young adult who has a history of developmental delays, cognitive impairment, or behavioral history that could result in unnecessary driving risk (i.e. substance abuse, criminal history, difficulties with authorities, mental health concerns).
2. Who is a potential-to-drive assessment for?
The potential to drive assessment could be for a person seeking a permit/licensure who is uncertain about safe driving ability or who could be able to drive but with some restrictions for best safety. OT/DRS’s do this assessment and make safe driving recommendations to the primary care physician and family before proceeding to behind the wheel for training. A PTD approach is very useful in cases involving impaired cognition and insight into deficits. For example, consider a young adult with low IQ or who is recovering from a Traumatic Brain Injury who is eager to drive but unaware of limitations and the older parent with moderate dementia and Alzheimer's who keeps driving despite advice to stop. These are cases in which clinical information alone may suggest and support professional recommendations for postponed driving, safety restrictions, driver retirement planning or cessation of driving (temporary or permanent). Results can be shared with physicians and the state in order to suspend or revoke a license.
3. Who is a comprehensive safe driving evaluation for?
This evaluation process is the gold standard in driving rehabilitation and may be required by a physician or the DPS. It includes the pre-screening intake, clinical assessment and behind the wheel testing (even if just at the most basic level). Often it takes an individual (client, family, or therapist) to see real on-road performance before realizing deficits and making the best action plan. It is for the permitted or licensed driver with safe driving limitations due to medical condition or other issue. If for a permitted student, this eval is to see if advancement to licensure without restrictions is appropriate (because passing a road test is not an indicator of being a safe driver in various situations). If for a licensed individual, who had a medical status change, the evaluation helps decide if the person is safe to drive again and if additional equipment, restrictions or license revocation are needed. This is required for the referring doctor and state.
4. What is an IDP?
An Individualized Driver Plan is like a school IEP or Occupational Therapy Treatment plan. Based on performance factors and client goals, a driving plan is created for a person in need. It has recommended activities, frequency, and duration. A progress check occurs as needed to update the plan.
5. What ages and conditions do you serve?
I serve teenagers, adults and elderly with a variety of needs. If I do not feel qualified or comfortable in addressing a specific issue for some reason, have a waitlist, do not take the preferred payor, or cannot travel as far or often as needed, then I will refer to someone else for assistance. I have referral relationships with multiple providers in the State and we all specialize in distinct areas of practice.
6. What locations of central Texas do you serve?
My territory is primarily the Austin Metro Area but sometimes I serve driver needs from further away. Contact me about necessary steps to get started.
7. What are your hours?
All services are by appointment.
8. Where are services located?
Due to high census and Covid-19, I have limited mobile services. Contact me about current offerings and availability.
9. What is required to participate?
In order to do any behind-the-wheel testing or training, a Texas driving permit or legal license is required. It cannot be expired, revoked or suspended. All clients must complete an intake process and have a pre-approved method of payment. Partial payment could be taken up front for any scheduled service. For any services being documented and billed as Occupational Therapy, a doctor script and plan of care is required. Participants must follow all recommendations for safety and be able to attend regular training sessions until discharge.
10. Are you a licensed school?
No, but I have worked for a regular driving school and currently work for a TEA licensed special education and driver rehabilitation program. My services can count towards GDL requirements, but no certificate of hours is provided. I will discuss which route of driver training is most appropriate for students with medical conditions after an OT driver assessment and/or creation of an Individualized Driving Plan (IDP).
11. What is the cost of services?
OT driver evaluation and training can be somewhat variable but breaks down to an hourly rate typical for the average Occupational Therapy/Driving Rehab Specialist. Contact me for more information.
12. How long are driving evaluations and training?
Time, frequency, and duration varies based on client factors. Contact me for more information.
13. Will insurance cover this? Why not? And Why Are Services Becoming Private Pay Only?
WILL INSURANCE COVER THIS? Maybe, it depends on individual benefits, service location, and medical necessity.
14. Do you only address driving?
No. I also address community mobility, safety, independence in living, health/and well-being. These can be direct services or supportive consultation services.