In this “new normal” due to the pandemic, many children are taking part in online telehealth sessions. We have compiled a few tips to help make your child’s speech and occupational therapy sessions run a little smoother.
A good tip to remember at the start: Your child will take their lead from you. Make telehealth seem like a fun new adventure and they are likely to get on board.
Before the session begins:
- Designate an area for your child’s telehealth session away from the hubbub of the rest of the house.
- For tabletop tasks, make sure your child is seated and that their chair has arms.
- If your child is distracted by background noise, have them connect to the computer’s audio via headphones.
- Remind your child 10 minutes before the appointment so they can shift gears and get ready to learn.
- Be prepared with supplies. If your child is working on handwriting, you may need paper, writing utensils, and scissors. In speech sessions, you may need to provide reinforcement or motivating items.
During the session:
- Depending on the child’s age and abilities, you may need to be directly involved in their sessions. Be sure that you or another adult is nearby in case your child needs help.
- To maximize participation, talk with the therapist ahead of time about how to best use your child’s favorite toys and activities as reinforcement. Then make sure to have them close at hand for when they’re needed.
- Let your child answer without help and work as independently as possible. The therapist will let you know when it’s time to get involved.
- This is a great opportunity for therapists to give you real-time suggestions while your child is in their home setting. For occupational therapy, work on tasks like brushing teeth and dressing. For speech and language, practice making requests for the child’s favorite items.
After the session:
- Ask questions! It helps to know why your child is doing an activity. This will also help you come up with ideas of activities to do at home that will reinforce what your child is learning in therapy.
- Most importantly, be flexible and adaptive. Stay in close communication with your child’s therapist to keep your child’s progress on track. We’re all in this together!
Visit Kaufman Children’s Center for Speech, Lanugage, Sensory-Motor & Autism Treatment at kidspeech.com for more information on their speech, language, sensory motor and social connections services.