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.