What is telehealth?Telehealth services are virtual services that occur without an in-person clinic visit. Virtual sessions provide opportunities for your child to continue receiving services when barriers come up that prevent them from attending their therapy appointments, such as sickness, difficulty with transportation to the clinic, etc. Rather than coming into the clinic for their therapy session, your child can participate in a telehealth session from home.How can telehealth support my child’s progress toward their therapy goals?Telehealth can support making and maintaining progress toward therapy goals, and can be used as an alternative session format when families are unable to make it into the clinic. While a controlled clinic environment and in-person time with a therapist provides predictability, access to gym equipment, and other means to learning new skills, the end goal of therapy is for children to engage in and participate readily within their natural environment. Telehealth sessions can support progress by:
- Allowing for therapist observation of the child in their home environment
- Children access skills differently across environments, and various environmental factors can influence children’s participation, levels of arousal, etc. Working with children virtually in their natural home environment can allow therapists to make appropriate, personalized recommendations for home carryover of activities and strategies, as well as environmental modifications, to help children’s progress toward their therapeutic goals.
- Increasing family member facilitation of and participation in therapeutic activities for improved home carryover
- Telehealth allows for therapists to provide parent education and coaching throughout a session within a natural environment for the child. This allows family members to implement therapist instructions and feedback to facilitate therapeutic activities for their child, which supports their ability to recreate similar therapeutic activities for their child independently.
- Promoting generalization of skills gained in the clinic
- Telehealth sessions allow for children to implement activities in their home environment that are similar to what they are working on in the clinic with therapist support. This allows for generalization of skills mastered in the controlled clinic environment to the child’s home environment.
- Using materials at home to support regulation
- In the clinic setting, we have various equipment and materials to provide regulating and organizing sensory input, such as swings, crashpads, slides, and more. While these tools are a great way to support regulation, most families do not have sensory rooms or similar equipment in their homes. Telehealth sessions are a great opportunity for your child’s therapist to collaborate with you and your child to determine appropriate activities and strategies your child can engage in at home to facilitate the regulating input their body needs.