A question that is often asked is "does teletherapy work with kids?" The short answer is, "Yes!" However, it's not that simple.
Teletherapy is a great way to connect when time, distance and service accessibility are in question. While this works great for adults, a few extra considerations need to be made for children.
Some things to consider are:
- Ability to speak clearly
- Access to supplies
- Parent/ guardian involvement
Most children who are preschool or early elementary age are not able to sit still long enough to complete a full teletherapy session on their own. In these cases, it is important to have parental (or guardian) involvement to lessen the time the child has to sit in front of a screen. This might look like a quick check-in with the parent or guardian, a brief session with the child and then wrap-up the session with the parent or guardian again.
Older children usually only need their adult to check-in with the therapist once during the session. Teens on the other hand usually only need their adult to check-in once every 2 or 3 sessions. This of course is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Another key point to consider is whether or not the child can speak clearly enough for the therapist to understand them. Most children do fine with this, but it is still something to consider.
Most therapeutic work with children comes through play. While online games with the therapist are always an option, sometimes the therapist will ask that the child have access to basic art supplies like: paper, pencils, crayons, clay, etc. It's important to talk to your child's therapist to see what types of supplies you may need to have available for your child to use during their teletherapy session.
Last but not least, it is important that a parent or guardian is available during the session time. They don't need to be in the room, but they do need to be available if there are technology issues, in case the therapist needs to discuss something and for liability reasons.
So, YES, children can absolutely participate in teletherapy sessions. Just be sure to speak with your therapist to be sure it is right for your child.