Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have temporarily closed our clinic doors for our typical face-to-face therapy sessions, but did you know that Kid’s Creek has been offering teletherapy since early 2019?
With teletherapy, consultations and therapy sessions are conducted remotely via a computer with high-speed internet. Kid’s Creek is offering Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy – all through an online platform – and most insurance covers these online sessions. Teletherapy allows children to continue therapy sessions and, more importantly, continue to make progress on their goals.
For those who’ve always participated in therapy in-person, we want to paint a picture of what your child’s virtual therapy session may look like. For each type of therapy (ST, PT, OT) it will look a bit different, so we have had all of our therapists team up to give a brief description of how their online sessions would go.
Sessions would vary based on the age and needs of your child. For example, with infants and young toddlers, the therapist would have the parent facilitate the play typically done while demonstrating positioning methods and ways to help the child move. She would continue to go over activities, stretches, and movements that she normally does with your child in the clinic, but do this by giving the parent detailed information about exactly how to actively help your child do the movements.
For older kiddos, teletherapy will look a little different and will incorporate their preferred ways to play at home. For example, the therapist can work on skills they are familiar with from the clinic, and give the parent more information on how to make their daily play/household activities therapeutic. Since physical therapy can be a very mobile session, parents and therapists can even use your cell phone as the video device to move more easily with your child inside or outside.
Like physical therapy, OT sessions will vary depending on the age and needs of your child. Parent participation is needed to help facilitate the session, especially with younger kids. The OTs will have items in front of them like what your child has so they can model what is expected for an activity. For many sessions, therapy items needed will be household items such as paper, crayons, scissors, popsicle sticks, string, playdoh, tongs, pennies, and small manipulatives. If the activity is sensory, the therapist will either instruct you to have items ready or have items themselves for parallel play. Some children will benefit from technology resources in their sessions. The OT will have the ability to put websites and programs on the screen to work on visual motor, visual perception, keyboarding, or scanning, for example.
For speech therapy, teletherapy can take place at a table with the child participating in various activities with their speech therapist. If the child is young or has difficulty paying attention to the screen, the session might be set up where a parent and child are playing together and the speech therapist can guide play or give ideas to target speech and language goals. The therapist will be able to share pictures, worksheets, drawing pages and even videos to target a child’s specific goals.
We are excited about the positive feedback we have received from parents who have participated with their children so far in our teletherapy sessions. We are having fun and accomplishing therapy goals in a whole new way! Our owner, Melanie even incorporated her dog, Minnie the chihuahua, into some teletherapy sessions and she was a big hit with the kids!
Please do not hesitate to reach out to your therapist with any questions about teletherapy. If you are unsure how to contact your child’s therapist, email Clinic Director Melanie McGriff at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will help you.
If you know of a family whose child needs therapy and is unable to receive it right now, note that new patients are welcome and we are able to do most evaluations through teletherapy, as well. Encourage them to contact us for a free consultation.
Kid’s Creek Therapy will remain closed until local authorities determine that it is safe to reopen. In the meantime, we are excited to use teletherapy as a way to get to know your child and their needs better!
Image Courtesy Pixabay