What is teletherapy?
Teletherapy, or Telehealth, is the process of providing Speech, Physical, Occupational, or Behavioral (ABA) therapy services virtually with the use of real time video conferencing software, similar to Zoom, Skype or Facetime on a computer, laptop, phone or tablet.
Who is Teletherapy Appropriate For?
Everyone! Teletherapy is a fantastic option for families that want to maintain social distancing while still receiving therapy services for their child during the COVID 19 pandemic. We are currently offering Teletherapy evaluations and treatments for speech therapy services. We can work with any child, any diagnosis, any issues — via Teletherapy!
Telehealth sessions can be additionally beneficial for families who live too far to travel to an in-person clinic, who don’t have access to transportation in a given week, who may have a sick sibling at home or who may face weather limitations (like the typical Chicago blizzard). It can also be helpful for children who may be homebound or have compromised immune systems, where the risks of having someone come to the home or being outside of the home out-weigh the benefits of therapy sessions at a center.
What are the benefits of Teletherapy?
There are many direct and indirect benefits to Teletherapy. Below are a few to consider:
•It is covered by most insurance plans – our office will call and check your benefits to determine your level of coverage with Teletherapy. •It’s fun, interactive, and individualized to each child, rather than watching a screen. •It allows for assessment and analysis of progress over several treatment sessions. •It is a flexible system and can easily be incorporated into any home environment – all that is required is a smart phone, tablet or laptop (laptops work best). •It’s convenient for parents and therapists, as no travel is involved and schedules can be more flexible between both parties. •There is a true caregiver/therapist collaboration. •Caregiver empowerment is immediate, as they are able to practice real time activities with their children.
What does Teletherapy look like?
Many students today use computers as part of their learning process, so the transition to receiving therapy via the web typically is an easy process. Prior to a session beginning, the therapist or office staff communicates with the family to coordinate a convenient time for the appointment to take place. Typically therapists will communicate with families to ensure that they are prepared with any appropriate materials or toys to have available. The family then receives an email with a link to access the videoconferencing software, which is entirely free for families and compliant with privacy and safety standards. Your child would then engage in sessions over real-time video, directed by our trained clinicians.
Teletherapy sessions will look a lot like traditional face to face treatments and many of the therapeutic goals remain the same as an in-person therapy session. Goals are addressed a little differently because the caregiver typically assists in facilitating the activities recommended by the therapist throughout the session. A typical session may consist of a number of different games, challenges, and skill building activities. Therapists have endless ideas and ways to motivate and inspire children, while educating the caregivers to utilize their creative sides to help their children with exercises. Many times, items on screen can be used as well, that take these virtual interactions to another level. In every therapy session, the caregivers will receive coaching and feedback to help with the implementation and carryover of skills.
If you are ready to discuss speech therapy options for your child and are interested in learning more about teletherapy services, call us today at 925-743-3322 for more information or to schedule an evaluation.