Shenandoah SOUNDstart, LLC
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What Do I Need for a Telehealth Session?
Items listed are suggestions of toys and objects that can be used during teletherapy sessions to foster gross motor development (Physical Therapy), fine-motor/sensory/ visual-motor development (Occupational Therapy), and speech/language development (Speech Therapy). Many of these things can readily be found in most households. Please do not purchase anything before discussing it with your therapist. Having some items handy during sessions will help the session to go smoothly. Do not worry if you do not have many (or any) of the items! We will help you be successful and creative with what you have!
Setting Up Your Space:
To begin teletherapy with your child, you will need a space in which to work, a computer, smart phone, or tablet and a reliable internet connection. Once you schedule your telehealth appointment with our clinic, you will receive an email or text with a sign in link from our SecureVideo HIPAA-compliant teletherapy platform so that you can access our secure network and connect with your therapist. This platform will ask you to download Zoom onto your device, so for your first session, please sign-in ahead of time so that there is time for this to download.
Please ensure there is a stable way to hold your device in-place (e.g., phone stand, “pop-socket,” tripod, or some way of propping it securely during our session). Place the device in a place where you and your child can be easily visible. We will likely be moving the device around some during the session as well.
Most children work easier with this platform when they are in a quiet location. It is best to find a room in your home that your child will be able to participate with minimal distractions (e.g., other family members, music playing, or the television on). If your child tends to run around the home, it may be best to go to his or her bedroom, office, or a smaller room together to complete the session so that you are in a consistent space each session and a routine can be learned.
You will need a dedicated adult present and available to assist throughout to assessment and any future session at all times.
What Will Sessions Look Like?
If you have ever had therapy at home or in a clinic, you might be surprised to find that teletherapy looks much the same. Each session, your therapist will greet you and your child, and then spend a few minutes going over how things went since your last meeting. They may review home program exercises or ask about doctor’s appointments. This is your time to brag about recent accomplishments or discuss any difficulties you’re having so that the therapist can address them in the session.
Following the review, therapy will begin. Depending upon the age of your child, how long he or she is able to attend, and what the skill-level is, you will be either observing the session as they participate, or actively engaged in the session. This is an open forum and participation is encouraged. Regardless of the child’s age, an adult ‘helper’ must be present throughout each session. The therapist may direct you in how to place and move your child, how to assist them appropriately, and when to step back to foster independence. They may incorporate items you readily have access to such as paper and crayons, toys, books etc. (See the list below for additional ideas of materials to gather for PT, OT, Speech Therapy, and feeding sessions).
Just like in-clinic appointments, your child’s session will work on skills needed to achieve the goals that were set during the evaluation. As your child changes, so may the goals. Please let the therapist know what your concerns are.
Teletherapy, like in-clinic therapy, is a team effort. We look forward to working with you, your child, and those important people in your child’s life!
Pediatric Therapy Center