During this coronavirus pandemic, many healthcare appointments have shifted to telemedicine and telehealth, and pediatric occupational therapy is no different. Occupational, speech, and physical therapy appointments online are helpful during this time when visiting in-person is not possible. Teletherapy allows you and the therapist to continue helping your child progress toward their goals. It also helps your child get back a little routine and normalcy during this uncertain time. Here are 4 reasons why you should keep up with pediatric occupational therapy in person, where possible, during COVID-19.
1. Similar Activities as In-Person
The activities are similar to what your child would do in-person.
For physical therapy, this might be switching between playing interactive computer games and performing exercises. During speech-language therapy, the pediatric therapist will share their screen with your child and allow them to control the screen while they play games that target language goals and speech sounds.
The therapist might work with your child and have them work on a certain craft that will help with fine motor skills or maybe help them brush their teeth while they stand in their own bathroom. They might be able to provide your child with tips on how to use their favorite toys for targeting therapy goals.
2. Build Hand Strength
It's important to build hand strength when your child isn't writing like they'd be doing every day in school. This is essential for helping them keep up this activity. It can also help with improving their fine motor skills.
Speaking of handwriting, handwriting is essential for children to master for them to succeed in school. In the classroom, teachers can recognize if the child isn't writing legibly or has significant issues in other motor tasks. However, it might not be that easy for you to detect at home. An occupational therapist can work with you to assess your child and determine the underlying issues that might be contributing to their troubles with handwriting. They can look at your child's skills and things like behavior along with their sensory, visual and physical capabilities. They can take your home environment into account when finding ways can enhance their handwriting or find ways your child can compensate, like with a computer.
4. Will Keep You in the Loop
A pediatric occupational therapist can keep you in the loop and provide you with certain activities you can do at home with your child. These may be wheelbarrow walking with your child, drawing on an easel, or other strengthening activities.
It’s important you keep up with therapy. You need to stay consistent with your child’s therapy and telehealth is an excellent way of staying connected with your child’s pediatric occupational therapist from your home.