Category Archives: Teletherapy

Virtual Online Telehealth

Teletherapy Paediatric Occupational Therapy

We have now been in lockdown for about three weeks.  Like many families, mine is also finding a new routine.  My 8-year old son and I have been doing ‘PE with Joe’ every weekday, trampolining in the garden, drawing sensory chalk walks outside, and crafting.  It has been lovely spending time together and having time to do things we ordinarily wouldn’t.  This slower pace of life is growing on us.

I’ve now been doing teletherapy, virtual Occupational Therapy sessions, with local families for a few weeks.  The OT community worldwide has been brilliant.  Thanks to technology, we have had many Zoom Catch-ups to share ideas, learn from and support each other. 

I work with amazing families and it has been great to see how well Teletherapy has been working for all of us. 

Families have said that the sessions are different to 1:1 clinic sessions, yet they are valuable and they like using what they already have at home in new and creative ways. 

Parents also feel good that they are the ones doing the handling, modifications, and putting the session into action, and the online sessions have ensured we keep progressing. 

Some families were hesitant to give teletherapy a go as they weren’t sure if it would be effective, however they’ve also been surprized how well their children have adapted to the new way of OT and are enjoying a new routine.  It’s been helpful to see family’s home space, come up with sensory strategies and obstacle courses using what’s at home, and more easily address skills that happen at home. 

For children who need preparation, this social story has been helpful and can be adapted.  

Overall, during these unpredictable and unsettling times, it has been so heart-warming to be connected with the children and their families.  I’ve finally been able to ‘meet’ their siblings and pets which is definitely a fun bonus.  It’s also been exciting to have another way of delivering therapy and partnering closely with parents, whilst providing an effective and valuable service. 

I bet that teletherapyteletherapy will be opening many doors down the road for working with families and team members. 

Teletherapy / Telehealth OT Sessions

I have been providing Telehealth Occupational Therapy sessions for families from abroad for a while.  However, due to the implications of Coronavirus, ot4kids is moving over to provide increased Telehealth (virtual) sessions.  I hope that this post will answer some questions regarding TeleTherapy and OT for your child. 
 

What is Telehealth or Teletherapy?  

 
The Occupational Therapist will guide the parent and child through their session ‘live’ in cyber space.  E.g. Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, Google Hangouts. As such, the parent or caregiver must be available throughout the session time. 

What to expect from a tele therapy virtual OT session

Telehealth sessions will differ from actual sessions with your OT, however, it will be valuable. 
 
The parent or adult must be present to support the child throughout the session. 
 

Before your teletherapy Occupational Therapy session:

Your OT will confirm details regarding which platform to use to connect, a plan of activities and goals for the session, share any necessary handouts, and advise on where to conduct the session as well as what toys and supplies to keep ready.  

During the teletherapy Occupational Therapy session: 

  • your OT will catch up with you and your child, review progress and goals
  • parents may request support regarding specific skills that take place at home (e.g. dressing, eating, organisation of the room, toys or games, setup and size of furniture).  
  • The OT will demonstrate and explain the activity, guide the parent or caregiver on how to set up and implement the activities for the session, listen and observe how the activity is completed by the child, and basically, work through the parent to support the child.  
  • The OT will likely ask the parent questions, problem-solve, demonstrate or explain how to change or modify an activity, and provide guidance and feedback as needed. 

At the end of the teletherapy OT session:

The parent and OT will provide feedback of the session, discuss strategies and hom
ework to incorporate into daily routines at home, and make a plan for the following session.  

Pros of telehealth OT sessions

-Convenience of having OT at home, anywhere in the world
-Helpful to get ‘real-time’ support to tackle what matters the most to families in their home
-Good to use the child’s own toys and resources
-Parents get to learn how to implement activities and support child’s needs by actually implementing the session.  As such, it allows more opportunities for carryover on a daily basis. 
 
For families whom tele therapy is not an option, we are offering video consultations with parent coaching /consultations, home programming, and follow-up support and check-ins accordingly.
 
For new children, although we aren’t able to complete a full assessment with testing, we are providing screenings where we can observe how the child does on specific tasks, parent consultation, and basing tele therapy sessions from there.  
 
Despite this difficult situation, we are so fortunate to have technology on our side.  Please speak with myself or your therapist so we can figure out how best to keep supporting your child.