What can I expect out of a Telehealth Occupational Therapy session?

As lockdowns continue, the BBT therapists are working hard to ensure that families can access support via Telehealth. Although this is a slightly different experience than face-to-face sessions, Telehealth is a wonderful option to allow consistent, regular OT input and maintain a strong relationship between the child and their OT. Here is everything you will need to know about having an OT session via Telehealth:

What sorts of activities will my child be participating in during a Telehealth session?

Your child will continue working on activities that support their Occupational Therapy goals as they have been in face-to-face sessions. All goals are able to be addressed via Telehealth, although the specific activities might be a bit different to what your child is used to in face-to-face sessions. For example:

  • Fine motor goals: Drawing, cutting, handwriting and overall fine motor goals can all be addressed via Telehealth. Activities that can be done from home include learning shapes and letters and how to form these, practicing snipping and cutting on at-home items, and learning handwriting and self-correction strategies.
  • Gross motor goals: Your child can participate in gross motor games such as Simon Says, at-home obstacle courses, or special challenges all via Telehealth.
  • Social skills goals: There are lots of online games and activities that therapists can use to support the development of social skills, including turn-taking, winning and losing, and being a kind friend.

How long do Telehealth sessions go for?

Telehealth sessions will go for the same duration as face-to-face Occupational Therapy sessions; typically 45 minutes.

What technology will I need to have a Telehealth session?

Telehealth sessions are typically conducted via Zoom. This program can be accessed on desktop computers, laptops, or mobile phones/tablets. Ensure that you have the program installed prior to the session!

Your therapist will email or text you a Zoom link prior to each Telehealth session.

What resources will I need for a Telehealth session?

Prior to a telehealth session, your therapist will contact you outlining any resources you may need to help your child participate in their OT session. These will be readily available everyday items, such as paper, pencils, or playdoh. If you are not able to access the resources requested, this is OK! Let your therapist know and they will be able to plan new activities with what you have available at home.

What if my child finds it hard to engage in Telehealth?

Although Telehealth can present some challenges, it’s important to remember that any Occupational Therapy input is better than none at all. Having consistent and regular input from your child’s OT is important to support them in maintaining a relationship with their OT and seeing the best improvements possible.

If your child is really finding it difficult to engage via Zoom, there are some other ways to use their session time.

  • Progress Review: Lockdowns present a great opportunity for the OT and parents to touch base, talk about progress made, and re-evaluate therapy goals.
  • Parent Coaching: Parent coaching sessions are also available, where your OT can talk you through any specific difficulties you may be having (eg. Toilet training) and how you can best manage this at home.
  • Activity Packs or Resource Provision: Your OT is able to plan a set of specific activities for you to implement at home with your child, in line with their therapy goals. Alternatively they are able to use session time to create resources such as social stories.

If you are interested in any of the above options please touch base with your OT!