Early Intervention Telehealth
Infants and toddlers learn best through everyday experiences and interactions with caregivers. The primary role of a clinician in early intervention is to work with and support caregivers in children’s lives. By participating in therapy sessions via telepractice, your clinician can provide you with immediate feedback and strategies to implement in your daily activities and routines, just as they would do if they were in the home with you!
What Can You Expect From Early Intervention Telehealth?
Before your first therapy session, your therapist might want to pre-plan with you. During a planning call, you and your therapist can discuss your daily routines and any challenges you may be experiencing. You can use this time to determine what routine you would like your session to take place during and any materials that you might need during that routine/session. Examples of routines/challenges include (but are not limited to):
- managing working from home while parenting through the pandemic
- community resources for children at home (e.g., library story times, kids yoga, etc.)
- what to do when your child has trouble participating in mealtime
- strategies for potty training
- engaging in imaginary play
- and more!
During your session, your clinician will be there to help problem solve and provide strategies to help enhance your routines and interactions. You will be able to try implementing strategies in real time. Your clinician can provide you with feedback in real time to help you feel comfortable using these new tools. Before the end of your session, plan to work with your therapist to develop a plan for you to continue implementing strategies into your daily routines before your next therapy session. You might also pick an activity and develop a plan for your next meeting just as you did the first time.
How Is Early Intervention Telehealth Different from Private Therapy Telehealth?
Because you, as the caregiver, spend the most time with your child, you can make the biggest difference in your child’s life! Therefore, early intervention services focus on using a parent coaching model and routines-based intervention. These techniques provide you with the skills and strategies to implement even when we aren’t there with you.
So, what does that mean for your therapy session?
It means that your therapist will not be the one to plan activities to engage your child. Nor will your therapist expect your young toddler to sit in front of a screen and follow a lesson plan for 30-60 minutes. Those are things you would see with a private therapy session, and probably not at all with your little ones. Instead, you will be the one to pick a routine and/or activity that you would like your therapist to work within. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to pick, your therapist is there to help you determine what routine/activity to might be best. The interaction will be between you and your child and the therapist can observe, coach, and problem solve with you in the moment.
When thinking of routines, examples include:
- morning/evening routines (including getting dressed, brushing teeth, bath time, bedtime)
- outdoor play
Remember to think about your child and what will work best for them. If you have a child who doesn’t like to sit, let’s talk about how we can adjust our expectations and allow them to stand. Another option is to change the type of chair we expect them to sit in. Or if your child shuts down under pressure, let’s brainstorm ways we can reframe our questions to eliminate the pressure! If your child is still adjusting to virtual classes, we will be there to help modify activities. This way, you and your child can still participate in a zoom with their class or a virtual library story time. We follow you and your child’s lead so that we can meet the individual needs of your family!