By: Erin Imsland, Occupational Therapist
Teletherapy is the online delivery of therapy services through a live video connection. As many of you know, Red Door has moved to teletherapy services for a little while due to the concerns regarding COVID-19 in hopes of slowing the spread and keeping our community safe. Some of us had the opportunity to provide these services over the last week and I wanted to share what I learned.
Why is teletherapy important?
- Children and adolescents are missing their daily routine and need to maintain a semblance of structure
- They are craving social participation outside of the immediate family unit
- Incorporating meaningful activity into their day is beneficial for their health and wellbeing
- Allows for increased use and growth of their cognitive, physical, social-emotional, and other skills during a time when they may be understimulated
- It provides an avenue to maintain continuity of care in order to progress with current therapy goals
Why is teletherapy awesome?
- Use of their natural environment
- Increased generalization of skills from therapy to home
- Electronics are often motivating
- Parents are nearby to observe the therapy process
- Parents are able to learn strategies and language to facilitate skill-building at home
- It is efficient with less time needed for transitions in and out of therapy
- It is new and exciting for kids and they love to share their homes and fun toys with their therapists (this is the only time I’ve actually accepted the frequent invitation of “do you want to come over to my house?”)
Teletherapy is new and unfamiliar territory for many of our families and therapists. That is okay! We encourage you to try with us. We encourage you to maintain consistency within your child’s life by sitting them in front of their favorite therapist to play for a small portion of the long day at home. Thank you for your flexibility during this time and we cannot wait to see you back in the clinic soon. For now, thanks for answering our video calls and returning your kids to the chairs when they flee the session. We are glad that during this time of social distancing we are still able to see your children’s faces – they are our favorite!