Our clinicians are trained to complete therapy in a range of ways, one of those being online therapy/telehealth.
What does an online therapy session look like?
Sessions might look a little different to your usual face to face sessions, but research tells us that they can be just as effective! online therapy sessions will have a greater focus on training you as the parent to do therapy with your child in your home environment. Your child’s therapist will also be providing speech therapy while you sit alongside your child and help them to practice the skills they are working on. Your therapist will spend the first sessions planning and discussing a few things with you:
- How to manage difficulties with behavior and/or attention: We know that most children will need support to sit and attend to activities that they find hard, just like they do in face to face sessions! Your therapist will give you ideas and strategies to use during sessions to make sure that you and your child continue to get the most out of therapy.
- Breaks; Just like in face to face sessions, we’ll schedule breaks with you and your child during sessions where they can play a game or have a short movement break (see below for ideas for games or activities).
How does it work?
Your therapist will send you an email with a link to a video meeting. You will just need to open your Gmail and click on the link that the therapist has sent you! We’d recommend setting up a Gmail account just for your child’s speech therapy. This means you’ll be able to find links to sessions, resources and homework easily! You’ll need an Internet connection, a device, a webcam and adequate volume.
Is it suitable for my child?
Have a chat with your therapist to discuss whether online therapy sessions would be suitable for your child. Current research tells us that online therapy can be just as effective when working with children and their families to develop communication skills, literacy skills, social skills and motor skills. In our experience, online therapy increases the options for families, can reduce things like travel time and allows your child to complete therapy in the comfort of your own home – this gives your therapist an idea of how to best tailor therapy to your child.
- What will I need?
In order for you and your child to get the most out of Online Therapy sessions, you’ll need a few things:
- A laptop, desktop or iPad. We’d recommend having an additional device too if possible (e.g. a laptop and an iPad OR an iPad and a phone OR an iPad and an iPad)
- A quiet space with little distractions. We know this might be a challenge at times, but please find a quiet space for you and your child to do your online therapy sessions. To help your child concentrate and to help them get the most out of sessions, we’d recommend you turn off the television, remove toys or items that might distract your child (unless you’re using them for therapy as discussed with your therapist) and help them to avoid distraction from siblings or pets.
- A strong and stable Internet connection. This will allow you to send and receive video and audio during your sessions
- An email address. You might find is easiest to set up an email address specifically for therapy so that you can easily find links to sessions and resources for sessions and homework
- Stationary. You will need paper or a scrapbook and textas or pencils. If your child is practicing their reading and spelling skills, we’d recommend having lined paper available. Your therapist can send this to you for you to print if necessary!
- Games or resources. You can work with your therapist to find the games that will best motivate your child
How long will a session go for?
Online therapy sessions will be 60-minute sessions that are structured similar to our face-to-face sessions. We’ll have about 50 minutes of therapy with 5 minutes either side of the therapy to allow for set up, challenges with technology, time to discuss how your child’s been going and time to send homework for the week at the end of the session.
Does it really work?
Yes it does! Current research is telling us that online therapy can be just as effective as face-to-face therapy sessions when working with children and adults with difficulties with communication skills, literacy skills, social skills and motor skills. We know that it’s going to look different to face-to-face therapy! What’s most important is that your child is getting the help that they need to continue to develop their skills, and that they are able to maintain the progress you have made so far.