Telepractice – it’s different but it works

Telepractice – it is different but it works

“Telepractice is certainly different as we are so used to being physically in the room with our families or at school or preschool. But that is just not possible at the moment with the COVID -19 pandemic. So it has been really great to still be able to go and “visit” our families in their home and some even in their preschools and help them, just in a different way using the online support.

I have had some families that have given me really great feedback for telepractice and they are really happy that their child is still making progress with their goals, even though I can’t physically be in the same room as them at the moment.”
– Jackie, speech pathologist from EarlyEd

Therapist talking with child on screen

Whether your child is active or interested in screens, telepractices are very effective. They are not that hard to organise and we can help you get started.

Most families were unsure at first about how telepractice would work but have given it a go and are successfully achieving their NDIS goals. It is different, but you can almost feel like your teacher/therapist is right there in the room with you because you become so focused.

A big change has been in how you use your appointment time. You can be really flexible. Some families spend half the time having a phone call first, to plan. This means they can be ready to get straight into the support from their early interventionist when their child joins in. Others start off with some time in the session with their child. Then, while their child goes off doing something else, they reflect how the session went and work out what to work on between .

Jackie, an EarlyEd speech pathologist talks about telepractices

“Telepractice can work on a range of devices including laptops, desk computers and, tablets and I’ve even had some parents using their smart phones.

So it’s really easy, you just download the app and we’ll be right there on your smart phone. One of my children loved having me on the smart phone because he could run around and show me the different things he was playing with at the time.

So you can get the best out of the session, other things to consider to get organised are:

  • good lighting
  • a webcam that works
  • a microphone that works.

The best way to get started is to have a good plan in place before the session. I’d definitely make contact with your therapist first.  Over the phone your therapist can talk you through what you need to think about, like:

  • how to download the software you’re going to be using, such as Zoom
  • which room to use in your house (some rooms may have more distractions than others)
  • what you and child will do
  • what activities to organise
  • what your other children might be doing while you’re on the session

If you have that chat before your first telepractice session it’s highly likely you’ll have a successful appointment and achieve your goals.

The way I have been doing my speech pathology telepractice services, depends on the family that I am working with. So obviously, just as it would be in the home environment, my services for a 3 year old versus a 5 year old are going to be vastly different, depending on their goals and their NDIS plan.

The way I have been mostly working with families is to coach the parents to become the number one therapist for their child. It is still the same way as I have always been working at home or preschool or school. It is now just behind a computer screen. 

We will pick a strategy and then we will work out how that strategy is going to look in a daily routine or even in a play activity. And then I coach the parents on how best to implement that strategy, while they are doing that activity, so we get the most out of it, so we can achieve their communication goals.

Telepractices are super effective. It is not something that is completely new to us. It is not something that the COVID-19 outbreak has made us do. It’s been used around the world for years. It has been used by people who have been flooded in or snowed in. It has been used all across Australia for people who are living in rural and remote areas and can’t get to services. It has been proved to be very effective and for children to achieve their goals. So I am really excited to be able to use this way of working to support my families.”

EarlyEd telepractice services are available for all speech pathology, occupational therapy, special educator, behaviour support and physiotherapy supports. To book in or find out more contact us.

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