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.