Managing the Shift :: TeleTips & Tricks

No stress & easy prep // SOTH approved tips & tricks for curating successful teletherapy sessions

Let’s face it – you are busy caregivers juggling your own Zoom calls, school meetings and checking-in with grandparents and other loved ones literally all day! Getting ready for your weekly therapy sessions does not have to add to any potential stress. Let’s explore ways in which you can partner with your therapist to ensure you have the tools you need to get the most out of your teletherapy sessions.

Tip 1: Prepare, Prepare, Prepare: Your therapist will work hard to ensure they send a list of necessary materials in advance. If your therapist is seeking something you do not have, tell them! We can be creative in meeting our goals. In addition, prepare your child that teletherapy will be different from coming to the gym. There are ample social stories available to teach this new shift.  

Tip 2: Be Creative: A common word used in Occupational Therapy is affordances: the amount of unique and available uses for any given object. We want to use objects that can be used in many different ways, with the understanding that it may be difficult to purchase new items right now. Skills on the Hill is currently featuring “6 Ways to Play” on Instagram! Follow our daily posts sharing creative activities highlighting common household items that can be used in new ways that are both therapeutic and fun.  

Tip 3: Make Garbage Your Friend: Extra paper towel rolls? Egg cartons? Amazon prime boxes? Extra paper bags? Containers? Using objects in new ways is a valuable, learned skill. Building with different materials is a skill that requires your eyes and hands to work together, and it also requires your child to exercise planning skills. If you have extra materials available, mention them to your therapist.  

Tip 4: Be understanding and expect the unexpected: This is new for children, parents, and therapists. Being collaborative is the best way to ensure success. Everyone on the team is working their hardest, including your child! Unexpected things may happen; your child may still have “off days”, sometimes the Wifi won’t quite work – we can stay patient and calm with the expectation that it won’t always run smoothly.  

Tip 5Use Your Resources: The Skills on the Hill Instagram and blog has some helpful resources, but there are plenty of online caregiver blogs that have great ideas to target different goals as well. Your child’s therapist will give you a home exercise program, too. If there is a resource you’re missing (a shoe-tying video, a way to play a new game, ways to encourage flexibility), ask your therapist and you can work together to find one. Stay tuned for our feature next week on our SOTH approved FAVE blogs and reputable journals that will keep your arsenal of support current and fresh!