occupational therapy

Online Occupational Therapy

Online Occupational Therapy

Online Occupational Therapy is newly gaining momentum since the pandemic. For instance, we are navigating different routines as a new normal. These include ordering things online and schooling online. Just as working from home, intervention therapies have also gone online.

To understand, online Occupational Therapy has been in practice for many years for remotely based clients. Consultationswh the OT and following a home program for a certain number of weeks.

Online Occupational Therapy works because:

Online occupational Therapy works well in presence of a caregiver/parent. Yes, the main advantage is guided intervention at home. But also, the presence of the parent throughout the session improves clarity and transparency. The parent also becomes skilled at in-house therapy for the child.

Read here about Occupational Therapy Activities in Autism

Tele Therapy sessions are planned as below:

The level and interests of the child are assessed. The therapy plan is designed by using regular things available at home. Also, it is cost-effective and saves traveling time. Lastly, the parent or caregiver observes the sessions and masters the home therapy program.

Skills taught via Online Occupational Therapy Intervention:

  • Attention and concentration
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Gross motor skills along with Bilateral Integration
  • Fine motor skills
  • Visual Coordination and Visual Perception
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • As well as, balance and coordination

Remember, these concerns are identified initially.

Watch an example of an Online OT session here

Benefits of Online Occupational Therapy:

  • Familiar environment for safe navigation
  • Fun and interesting ways of session delivery
  • Interactive and engaging activities
  • Online groups for similarly skilled children
  • More time for skill learning and refinement
  • A flexible method of delivery
  • Use of engaging and interactive computer applications

Limitations of Online Occupational Therapy:

  • Lack of clinical equipment is a major limitation. For this, the therapist modifies the available resources at home.
  • For elderly therapy seekers, the therapist advises constant Caregiver presence. This is mainly to prevent falls and injuries.
  • Joint protection techniques and energy-saving methods need to be followed strictly for the older population.
  • Because it is easy for children to move away from the screen, we suggest one parent attends the session with the child.

Factors that make online Occupational Therapy successful:

  • High-speed internet and
  • Laptop, computer, or a tablet. Also,
  • Some free space, the size of a yoga mat
  • A book, crayons, and sketch pens
  • Available toys like stacker, balls, alphabet board, fridge magnets, cotton, grains, bowls and spoons, scissors.
  • Ability to follow basic instructions during an online session with caregiver’s help
  • Lastly, a comfortable work surface and a chair.

Note, that a child’s therapist plans and shares a list of materials to be readied for the session beforehand. The family most likely would not need to buy new things.

What do sessions look like?

Firstly, the therapist uses sessions at home including the child’s family members to teach skills like patience, turn-taking, communication. Also, sharing and borrowing, ideation, planning, emotional regulation are other skills that a child learns via this mode of therapy.

Secondly, individual sessions are effective for school-going children who can handle the basic workings of a computer system. The child uses the mouse or touchpad to connect shapes, identify hidden objects, or replicate a simple design!

Thirdly, for toddlers, parents help by modeling movements and performance planned by the therapist. These include games like stackers, throwing balls in a bin, finger dabbing, and so on!

Above all, the clients learn skills in their living environment. Thus, it is easy to address the challenges they face. Is it difficult to use steps in the house, independent access of washrooms, kitchen handling, concerns with using taps, sitting or getting up, and such?

To conclude, Online Occupational Therapy works for a few clients for the discussed benefits. Some, however, will need in-person sessions for Intervention. Your therapist will be able to guide you with this decision.

If you think your child needs intervention, get in touch with us at info@1specialplace.com.

We would be happy to help your child.

Amruta Tamboli
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