Pediatric Therapy Online: How Effective is Virtual Speech and OT for Kids?
Your special needs child has been doing well with in-person pediatric speech and occupational therapy, but due to unforeseen circumstances, schools are closed, or perhaps you simply can no longer bring your child to therapy sessions, you may wonder how you can continue helping your child while they are at home. You have heard of online therapy, but you’ve wondered if it is as effective as in-person sessions.
Virtual therapy may be just what you are looking for to bridge the gap for you and your child through structured services offered through technology in your own home. Barriers to your child’s therapy can cease to exist!
Virtual Pediatric Therapy via Technology
Online pediatric therapy, including virtual speech and occupational therapy (OT) for kids, is often called teletherapy, telepractice, and telehealth.
Telehealth sessions involve you and your child’s presence in a teleconference with a therapist or trained professional. The video call is accomplished through the use of devices such as tablets or computer and video conference software.
How Effective is Virtual Speech and OT for Kids?
Several factors play into the effective success of pediatric teletherapy.
Flexibility and convenience for both your child and you, the parent or caregiver, boosts the effectiveness of telehealth. Virtual therapy is not confined to a rigid schedule where the student must attend face-to-face sessions in a setting where they might experience discomfort or interruptions. Children are typically comfortable in their own home environment, and this bolsters their ability to learn and grow through online therapy sessions.
We address cognitive skills, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and self-care through occupational therapy. Each of these areas is highly suited for online therapy. Children love to engage in electronic-based settings, and each of our practices, goals, and developmental areas in our focus are well-matched for virtual therapy practices.
Speech therapy methods typically include helping your child express communication and process information. Online therapy is a successful method for speech therapy and the development of strength, awareness, coordination, and mobility of the oral muscles required for speech. Your child’s sense of fun via technology encourages self-practice, which leads to advancement and success.
Actual effectivity results are proven, according to a study posted by The International Journal of Telerehabilitation. Virtual speech and OT for kids is just as effective as in-person therapy when completed in line with ASHA (American Speech Language-Hearing Association) guidance, which states, “Use of telepractice must be equivalent to the quality of services provided in person.”
Jonathan Linkous, who served as the CEO of the American Telemedicine Association for nearly 25 years (in 2017), said, “In the last five years, telemedicine services have really taken off as a way to provide specialty care. It’s transforming all healthcare. In some cases, for some patients, it might even be better than seeing someone in their office.”
Benefits of Telehealth (Online Therapy) with SPACE
Our telepractice options provide effective and exciting opportunities in numerous ways:
- Provide services in the safety and comfort of your home
- Provide home program ideas using your toys and equipment
- Increase opportunities for generalization in different environments
- Increase caregiver training to promote carryover with therapeutic strategies in the home
- Provide some stability of schedule while your child is home from school
- Provide guidance and assistance with on-line school assignments/learning curriculum
If you are looking for more ways to incorporate speech or OT into your daily routine while your kids are out of school, talk to us during your next appointment.
Not a client of SPACE (Family First Speech and Kids Connect OT)? Schedule your first appointment with us, and remember, just because you can’t leave the house, doesn’t mean your kids have to fall behind!
Supporting our community with quality speech therapy, occupational therapy, DIR/Floortime and ABA services remains a top priority at SPACE Therapy & Gym. Schedule an appointment via phone call between 9 am-1 pm or via email also at [email protected]. If it is outside of office hours, please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible!