Teletherapy is the online delivery of therapy services provided through video conferencing. It is a safe way for your child to receive skilled services in the comfort of your home. These sessions may look and feel very similar to a “normal” therapy session just presented via video screen. Throughout these therapy sessions, the client can see, hear, and interact with the ST in real-time using video. If you have ever Skyped or used Facetime, it is a very similar experience. The setup for teletherapy is very simple and straightforward. All you need is a computer or smartphone with video capability!
The therapy activities provided during teletherapy sessions are very similar to face-to-face, except many different innovative software and tools are used to present activities to the patient. We do not alter our approach, just the way we present it. Often, the patient is willing to attend more throughout these sessions due to being drawn to the technology that the activities are presented on. If you are able to receive services in a clinic, you should be able to benefit via teletherapy with the guidance of an adult. Before beginning your therapy session, it is important to look at lighting, distractions, and noise level to help decrease distractions and increase the client’s attention. For younger clients, it is important for the parent to be able to engage with the patient to help with basic computer skills and keep the patient engaged. Throughout the therapy session, it is important for the caregiver to engage with the patient to show the ST how the patient can perform certain tasks. Also, let’s not forget that a critical part of therapy is carryover into the home. It is important during these sessions for the therapist to be able to counsel the patient’s family on how to engage the client and maintain the progress noted before the next therapy session.
Teletherapy is definitely not for all children and is not “100% guaranteed to work.” Honestly, though, that could be said for anything. Some children do better in one-on-one settings, while others prefer to be in a group and not singled out. Many children strive with this technique due to being in the comfort of their own home and their love for technology. It’s definitely worth a try. You and your therapist can work together to make changes to help your child have the best experience possible.
At Beyond Therapy, we use a HIPPA-compliant video meeting system that will protect your child’s privacy and therapy data. Please contact one of our therapists for more information and to schedule your first virtual session.
Bethany Gough, MS CCC-SLP, is a graduate of the Jackson State Communicative Disorders Masters Program. Bethany is the mother of Preston Gough, who is 8, and Ann Roark, who is 5. Bethany enjoys playing outside with her kids, watching them play sports, and vacationing with family. At Beyond Therapy for Kids, she specializes in Vital Stimulation therapy and Prompt Therapy. Bethany enjoys working with kids and helping children meet their maximum potential.