It can be very daunting starting something new. But with Covid-19 restrictions in place, we have had to adapt how we do what is 'normal'. And sometimes, these challenges bring positives. Teletherapy is proving to be a popular and successful way to provide therapy and achieve results.
How can you best prepare for your first teletherapy session? Here are some simple steps:
Apps/Software: Download the appropriate app/software that your therapist is using and test it out with another family member. This will help to familiarise yourself with the screen and functions.
Technology: A laptop/iPad is preferable to a phone as it will be easier to see the content on the screen. Make sure the webcam and microphone is working prior to the session.
Seating: It's best if your child is seated on a chair that is the correct height for the table and laptop. Also, there may be some movement in the session, so it's okay if your child gets up and down to stretch their legs!
Environment: It's best if the area is clear of any distractions, for example, any TV's or radio's are switched off, and anyone else in the room is quiet. It can be helpful if your child has the session in the same space each session, as it adds to the familiarity and routine of the session.
Materials: From time to time, the therapist may ask you to have some materials ready that will be used in the session, for example, play doh, markers, small objects. Don't worry though, the therapist will let you know in advance of the session if anything is required. Even through a screen, we can still use and play with all the toys that your child enjoys.
Rewards: Sometimes we use ticks or stamps on the screen to reward progress. However, from time to time, a more tangible reinforcer may be needed on your end, but we will guide and recommend what is best for your child in advance of the session.
Fun: It's important that both you and your child enjoy the sessions and have fun!!
So don't worry or overthink it too much, it's okay it if the first session doesn't go as planned or you're nervous in front of the screen. I'll let you in on a secret ... we are too! But by working together, we can do great things. So let's embrace this new 'normal' way to receive SLT for a while, we might even begin to like it!!
Best of Luck!
The Speech Sound Clinic.