Set-up a time to talk with your therapist over the phone or on video chat to discuss what your teletherapy session will look like. You’ll need to download the Zoom app on the device you will be using (phone, tablet, or computer) and get acquainted with how it works before your first session begins. It’s always important to have all of your materials, toys, and activities easily accessible before each session.
Set up a distraction free environment
Choose the right location in your house where your teletherapy session can be conducted where there will be the least amount of distractions possible. Try and limit distractions as much as possible by finding a secluded spot away from siblings (if possible), limiting background noise, and turning off the TV.
Pick a "Therapy Spot"
Pick a spot that can be the designated “therapy spot” for each session. This will help make this spot be special and they will know when they sit there it’s time for therapy. Be creative and have fun. We have to make the most of our current situation by trying to make their therapy times as fun and enjoyable as possible. If we act enthusiastic and make it fun, the kids will likely want to participate more. Don’t worry or stress about coming up with ideas for therapy. Your therapist is trained in designing fun interactive therapy sessions and will have all of the therapy activities planned and ready. As they lead the session, they will need you to act as an aide or facilitator to help carry out their therapy plan.
Come up with a set schedule
Children thrive on routine. It’s a good idea to try and develop a set therapy schedule for each week. This will allow for your child to get into a routine and create some sense of normalcy during this time. This can also help prepare your child for therapy if they know it’s coming.
Sometimes teletherapy sessions don’t go as planned. Face to face treatment sessions don’t go as planned, that’s just life. It’s important to have an open mind and be flexible because something that worked last session may not work this session. Don’t be stressed if your child isn’t participating or behaving as you think they should. That’s to be expected. Their whole routine and life that they were used to is different. They are going to have rough days and rough sessions. We just have to be open minded and try again next time. Have open communication with your therapist about what’s working and what’s not. They will be days that everyone in the family will want to be involved in the session and that’s ok. We can be flexible and make that work by incorporating playing games, taking turns, and engaging socially with siblings etc.
Get invovled and ask questions. What better time to get involved in your child’s therapy?! During our normal everyday hustle and bustle we may not know exactly what happened in therapy that day or what exactly we are working on from day to day. You’ve been given a front row seat to your child’s daily therapy sessions. You can see how we work on certain objectives and various ways that you can help your child at home. If you don’t understand why we do certain things, just ask. We want you to be involved and what better a time to learn how to do so. We are all in this together and as we help them meet their goals and reach their highest potential.
Give yourself a break
We get it. This is hard!! Scheduling up to 3 therapy sessions multiple times a week, in addition to everything else you have going on can be hard! So, whatever you can do is perfect. We are here to help and you know your child better than anyone. They may not feel up to participating in therapy one day and that’s ok. Just let us know when they need a break or you need to cancel a session. We can reschedule or give them a break for a few days. After their break, therapy may seem fun and new again. We don’t want to burn them out and you know what they can handle.
We know it’s hard right now, but please know we are all in this together. It is our job to make therapy as fun as possible, so your child stays engaged. Hopefully, these tips will help as long as teletherapy sessions continue.