Teletherapy

 

Teletherapy

During these unprecedented and challenging times, FTC Kids will continue to offer teletherapy for Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions About Teletherapy

Cons Pros Response
Teletherapy will create a change in the family’s normal routine. Teletherapy allows for the continuation of services and therapists will have an increased flexibility in scheduling. Therapists are able to work around the schedules of the parents to schedule therapy sessions during times that will be as convenient as possible for the families.
Parents may worry that they are being too involved or not involved enough during sessions. They may express feelings of difficulty in understanding how much physical and verbal cueing they should provide for their children. This opportunity will allow for more parent involvement and better understanding of how to carryover activities at home. Parents will receive a better sense of how much support they should provide their children to give them a “just right” challenge to promote more independence and self-confidence. Additionally, therapists can provide parents with strategies to entice and motivate their children to engage in activities (i.e. playfully participating in their session).
Homes may lack many of the equipment that is frequently used during sessions at the facility. Therapists will be able to provide ideas and demonstrate how easily parents can use their environment and materials that are already available in their homes. They will learn to play with their children in fun and creative ways. By making use of what is already at home, this will foster creative and imaginative thinking for the children when discovering how to play with readily available toys and household items in fun, new ways while still being therapeutic.
Parents may become embarrassed about their child’s behaviors. Therapists will be able to see how the children behave in their natural home setting and observe how this may differ from how they typically behave while at the facility.

Additionally, teletherapy is a new service that children may not be familiar with. It’s to be expected that they may be silly the first few sessions.

Therapists will be able to receive a better understanding of how the children may behave in different settings and around other people. By seeing first-hand how children respond to certain things, it will provide the therapists information to share input and suggestions of strategies to implement to address those concerns.
There may be distractions at home with other siblings present. Siblings can become involved in the therapy sessions. Siblings can serve as assets to the therapy session by supporting and motivating the children to participate and engage in the tasks at hand alongside them. This may also be a time to work on conflict resolution with siblings.
Parents may become frustrated with their children not meeting the expectations of how they should perform during sessions. Parents will be better able to understand how their children are performing when engaging in a therapy session and that improvement in performance to work towards their goals is a journey. It takes time and patience to work towards goals and by putting in the work and effort with every session, they are still improving their skills in some way. Even the small victories during sessions are still steps in the right direction.
Parents may have difficulties with knowing how to orient the laptop/phone/tablet to allow for efficient viewing during the session. Mastering the use of the computer for therapy sessions will allow this format to be used as an alternative solution for session make-ups after self-isolation. Parents will no longer have to stress when an unexpected delay/change of plans/ snowstorm, etc.occurs. Therapists can help you through orienting your laptop/phone/tablet to obtain the best visuals during your child’s session. 
Difficulty in navigating the video conferencing system Connecting to a therapy session can be as easy as clicking on a link. You can receive therapy from your phone, iPAd or laptop even when unavailable to physically come into the center. Therapists are able to provide the families with the same meeting ID codes and passwords to connect to their regular sessions. It can also be as simple as clicking on a single link to connect to an online teletherapy session for your child.
Parents are present for the sessions, causing children to become extra silly or perform differently than how they typically do during one-on-one sessions with the therapist. Parents are present for the sessions, creating opportunity for parent education in terms of purpose of the activity, how to physically cue the child, and how to respond to the child to engage/entice in play. Therapists are now able to provide explanations to parents on why and how they are having the child perform these activities. Therapists are able to explain the neuro-sensory component of these activities and the benefits it has to their child. This will allow parents to understand why occupational therapy is beneficial and what areas are being addressed. 
Parents may think their child is not suitable for teletherapy.  Therapists can trial a teletherapy session with your child to see if utilizing this type of service will be a good fit for continuation of services for your child. Trialing a teletherapy session with a child will allow the parents an opportunity to learn more about what therapy entails. If it is not the right fit, FTC can offer parent coaching and consultations to address growing home concerns or review individualized home exercise programs
If your child is having an off day and is demonstrating difficulty attending to their activities, your session may be cut short. Parents will have the opportunity to complete their child’s session another day of the week. The therapists understand that every family is adjusting and acclimating to new changes which may result in difficulties for children to stay focused and follow directions. Rescheduling your child’s session is always an option if they are unable to participate and engage in the activities for the length of a full session. 
Parents may be worried about the appearance of their space/home or what the therapists may think. The therapists are focused on ensuring that they are able to provide services to the children in an area where they have enough room to safely move around. Our main focus as therapists is to continue helping the children improve their skills and help them reach their goals. Therapy is not meant to be stressful and we are just happy that we have teletherapy as an option for us to continue working with your children even if it isn’t in person.