Over the past few months as the Covid-19 pandemic has unfolded, many children and young people who receive support from specialists have been unable to attend their regular appointments, and referrals may have slowed down as specialists learnt to manage a new way of working. One way in which therapy has been able to continue is through teletherapy. While this may seem like a relatively new concept, it has in fact been around for some time. In this blog we will explore what teletherapy is, how it can help you, and what the benefits are of having remote therapy sessions.
What is teletherapy?
The term ‘teletherapy’ refers to any therapeutic assessment, consultation or intervention which takes place remotely, through use of video conferencing or telephone calls. It is likely you’ve used similar software to that used in teletherapy before; it’s very similar to Facetime or Skype, however, at Seirrah Therapies we mostly complete teletherapy using our secure client management system or Google Meet through our organisation emails to ensure confidentiality and client security. Prior to appointments your therapist will send a personal invite link for you to join the session when you are ready.
During a teletherapy session, your therapist may complete assessments, consult with parents, or key members of educational or support staff, or carry out regular interventions as would be done in face to face sessions. To ensure that sessions run smoothly, it is usually necessary for an adult to support the child or young person during sessions to provide physical assistance or in-person demonstrations. Overall, teletherapy sessions are very much like your regular face to face sessions.
Why is teletherapy useful?
At present, teletherapy is an invaluable support system for many families across the UK, as regular face to face assessment, consultation, and intervention cannot go ahead under the lockdown regulations. Without remote services, many children would be missing out on regular support which is needed for skill development or addressing physical and sensory needs. Thanks to technology, we are able to continue providing high quality services during this difficult time. Teletherapy can help you by ensuring continued support regardless of the lockdown. To receive teletherapy you do not need to be an existing client; we are able to complete high quality assessments remotely and at a short waiting time, therefore allowing you to start receiving support more quickly.
How can teletherapy help?
Just like regular Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy, teletherapy can address a range of physical, sensory, speech, language, educational, and emotional needs. Just some of the skills and areas that can be addressed in teletherapy include:
- Sensory processing.
- Fine and/or gross motor skills.
- Executive functioning.
- Language development.
- Emotional regulation.
- Independent living skills.
- Visual perception.
- LEGO-Based Intervention.
- Self-care skills.
What are the benefits of teletherapy?
Teletherapy did not magically appear during the pandemic, however, it is a tool used across the world to provide remote services to those who need them. Teletherapy can be beneficial for a range of reasons; just some of the benefits of teletherapy include:
- Low cost – Seirrah Therapies offer reduced cost assessment and consultations via teletherapy.
- Flexible – there is no need for expensive equipment; programmes can be designed around what you already have at home.
- Freedom to choose – teletherapy allows you to choose a therapist regardless of where they are based, as there is no travel involved.
- Low impact on other family members – as sessions can be completed remotely, there is no need for siblings to come along to sessions or for alternative childcare to be arranged.
- Accessible – teletherapy doesn’t require travel and can therefore be used for those living in remote areas. This can also mean that sessions can occur more frequently as less time is needed for travel.
- Therapy in the comfort of your home – no need to travel to an unfamiliar place, which can be a cause of anxiety for many children and young people.
- Promoting independence – much like regular occupational therapy, teletherapy enables children and young people to develop their independence and address needs.
As you can see, teletherapy is a highly effective and beneficial method of receiving support from an Occupational Therapist or Speech and Language Therapist. Our service can be designed around your needs and bespoke programmes can be produced to support children and young people receiving teletherapy. Contrary to popular believe, teletherapy is not inferior to in-person therapy; it can be just as effective with the correct support. We hope this blog has helped you to understand a little bit more about teletherapy, why it is useful, and what the benefits of teletherapy can be.
If you are interested in accessing our teletherapy services, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information and support, follow our Facebook page by searching ‘Seirrah Therapies’ and join our parent support group.