What is telehealth, and how can it help me and my child?
Telehealth is therapy delivered remotely via technology (i.e. a video call or phone call) with a health professional, for circumstances where it is difficult or not an option to access services face to face. Many clients have accessed this service during lockdown periods of the COVID-19 pandemic, or at other times where there are travel constraints or the family is unable to come in to the clinic due to various circumstances.
Telehealth has been in existence for many years in Australia to service remote communities and other circumstances where face to face sessions may not be accessible, however has more so recently become mainstream since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic as an alternative option when required. Bright Start Therapy offers this as a service to clients during lockdowns when it advised by governing bodies that our therapists only work face-to-face in extreme circumstances, as well as at other times when the family would prefer to access it as an option.
What do our Telehealth services entail?
All Telehealth services provided by Bright Start Therapy include:
A Zoom link and recommended resources sent to you prior the session (resources will often include what you already have available at home).
Goal setting, just the same as in face-to-face sessions.
Regular monitoring and reviews of goals and progress, just the same as in face-to-face sessions.
Continued liaison with other people involved in your child’s care per your consent, just the same as in face-to-face sessions (e.g. with your child’s teachers, other allied health professionals).
If the parent is not present during the session, your therapist will email you through a summary of the notes following the session.
Did you know many of our clients see continued progress over Telehealth, and that it can be delivered in many different forms?
Often a big misconception surrounding Telehealth is that because it is not a face-to-face session, that it won’t be effective or progress won’t be seen with the child. However, as progress is monitored and treatment plans are adapted to suit the child and family just like is done with face-to-face sessions, Telehealth sessions help to ensure continued communication and to maintain progress in between face-to-face sessions. In some cases, Telehealth sessions have even seen enhanced progress, as the session is delivered in the child’s familiar environment using the resources the family have at home, that they can continue practising with in between sessions. Some other benefits to families include that some families or family members who don’t usually get a chance to sit in on sessions, can see what activities are worked through during the child’s sessions, as well as programs and further resource recommendations can be set up for home. A lot of families have commented that it has also created consistency and routine for their children during lockdowns.
Different ways in which we deliver Telehealth
Many Telehealth sessions are delivered in different formats, depending on what suits the child and family best to meet their goals. Your practitioner will discuss with you what the different options are that are available and tailor Telehealth sessions to suit your child and family. This may be similar to the child’s regular face-to-face sessions, or it may take on a different format. Either way, sessions will be designed to meet you and your child’s goals.
Some different ways in which we deliver Telehealth include:
1:1 on the screen with the child if this works for them and they are able to participate with minimal adult supervision (usually primary/older kids) – Telehealth sessions can be conducted at home, or in some cases if the school consents, we can also conduct this at school.
Parent coaching to deliver the therapy (for children who cannot attend the screen by themselves, where the family is emailed in advance of what to set up at home based on what they have at home, and the family is guided over the screen by their practitioner in how to deliver the therapy with their child at home). This is also a great option for families who want to learn how to practise their child’s therapy activities and goals in between sessions to help accelerate their child’s progress and ensure integration into their home environment.
Parent consults/parent coaching in general (where the child doesn’t always need to be present) – for some families, depending on what goals are being worked on, just the parents may be seen for the session and strategies provided for home, either via a video or phone call. This may include setting up strategies with you surrounding your child’s sleep, behaviour, helping to meet your child’s sensory needs, or other areas of need at home (helping your child with eating, dressing etc.). This option can be great for families who need to touch base with their practitioner for strategies when it’s not appropriate to talk in front of the child, when there’s strategies that don’t need the child always present, to review goals or progress, or for when there’s difficulties with availability of the child, but the family would still like to seek advice. Some families’ Telehealth sessions even involve a combination of the above.
If you have any more questions regarding our Telehealth services and how we can work with you and your child during this time, don’t hesitate to contact us!