Telehealth Therapy Sessions: Are they right for your child?

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We’re in the middle of a global pandemic. That’s kind of a big deal.

But, if you’ve got a child with special needs, those needs don’t just stop even though the world seems to have shut down.

For a time, it made sense to press pause on things until we could get a handle on the virus and figure out how to flatten the curve. Now, several months later, we’ve got to figure out how to resume living in the midst of a very contagious illness that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. 

That’s easier said than done in some cases.

In many states, COVID-19 is seeing a rise in positive test results and business owners are pulling back, trying to figure out how to stay open in the safest way possible.

For many, this means harnessing the power of technology. 

Thank goodness for the internet. 

Work and school can be done remotely. Groceries can be ordered online. Banking and bill payments can be taken care of with a few taps on your phone. And, in many cases, healthcare can happen via video.

For this reason, telehealth therapy sessions are becoming the standard of care in many areas, at least temporarily. Video conferencing software, like Zoom, allows therapists to connect with patients and their families face-to-face at a physical distance that keeps everyone safe.

Is this option a good choice for your child? 

That’s what we’re going to explore today. Here are 4 reasons you might want to consider telehealth therapy for your child (and 2 reasons you might not). 

4 Reasons to Choose Telehealth Therapy for your Child

  1. Kids at high risk for complications from COVID-19 are often safer at home. For many of us, our kids are at higher risk for complications due to underlying conditions. Depending on what those underlying conditions are, we might choose to overlook the drawbacks of telehealth therapy sessions in favor of keeping our children home and safe. 
  2. For some families, telehealth therapy sessions may be the ONLY way to access services right now. In states that are being hit harder with COVID-19, there are many clinics that aren’t seeing patients in person at all. This might be due to safety concerns, a lack of therapists available to take on in-person visits, or even mandates that require them to remain closed. If your child is regressing without therapy and needs access to these services, telehealth therapy sessions may be able to bridge the gap until in-person appointments are once again available. 
  3. Telehealth therapy sessions offer more freedom and flexibility for families who are trying to establish a new normal. Schools are closed and the reopening process is uncertain for many. Parents are juggling weird work hours to accommodate having kids home 24/7. This can make scheduling appointments difficult. Having the option to see therapists from home means that kids don’t have to forego necessary treatment.
  4. Families who work remotely and travel don’t have to miss out on therapy services for their kids. With work and school happening remotely (and many even choosing to start their own businesses and homeschool), why not embrace location independence and take some time to travel this summer? Road trips are a great way to see the country while maintaining a safe physical distance from others. If everything else can be done online, why not healthcare? 

2 Reasons Telehealth Therapy Might Not be a Good Fit for your Child

  1. Your child is too young or not developmentally able to work with a therapist virtually. If your child struggles with following directions from a person on-screen, then telehealth therapy sessions may not be a good fit for your family. If that’s the case, you still have options. Some therapists will give parents a home regimen to work on and check in periodically via phone or video. Others are offering in-person visits with safety measures in place. If none of these choices work, talk to your therapy team and see what you guys can come up with together. 
  2. You’ve decided now might be a good time to give your child a breather from formal therapy. With things so chaotic right now, it might be better for everyone’s mental health to step back and take a break. If you go this route, be sure to talk with your child’s therapy team and have a game plan in place to prevent a loss of progress. In many cases, your child’s therapists can help you put together a home routine to keep your child on track, including an end date to check back in. Given that it’s summer, there’s no better time to explore the many benefits of free play and time spent outdoors.

In Conclusion

Video conferencing has changed the way we look at healthcare and has opened up access to many who might otherwise go without. Families who have sheltered-in-place during COVID-19 now have access to telehealth therapy sessions from the safety and comfort of home.

This isn’t the right fit for everyone, but we hope this article helps give you a little bit more insight on whether it might be a good option for your child.

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