Telehealth (or online therapy) is not a new way of doing therapy. For many years, MouthWorks has provided consultation and support by:
- Video consultation through the internet,
- Email support,
- Sending pictures and videos, and
- Providing home, school or community programmes for people to practice.
Researchers have shown that online therapy can be:
- As effective as face to face therapy,
- Useful for many different types of therapy,
- Really convenient!
- Great for building your skills in supporting your child,
- Great for building and keeping a relationship with your therapist, and
- Excellent for physical distance – for safety or living in rural or remote areas.
Telehealth is different to normal therapy. It relies on you working with your child, and the therapist working with you as your coach. Sometimes direct therapy with the child can happen as well, depending on your child’s ability to engage in the process. An example of online therapy success –
9 year old girl with Autism This week, this lovely family transitioned to online therapy during self-isolation. Mum was a bit nervous about how the first session would go, as her daughter could not talk and did not have a very long attention span. The first part of the session involved Mum discussing her daughter’s difficulties and development with the therapist, whilst her daughter played with her favourite toy in the background. Whilst they were talking, the therapist discovered that she shared a passion for LEGO with the little girl. Mum found some LEGO, and the therapist started to build her own LEGO construction on the other end of the video connection. To start with, the girl had trouble looking at the screen. But when the therapist invited her to build by accidentally breaking the LEGO creation, she was drawn into the play and started to copy the therapist’s actions. The therapist was able to shape this into a fantastic game to help the little one understand complex directions. Mum was thrilled with the result!