How Parents Can Support Their Child's Online Therapy
Online therapy has become more popular now than ever before. Apart from the many disruptions that the pandemic has brought, work-life balance and the need to save on time and resources has made online therapy a convenient and effective choice for many families.
Why Online Therapy
Sometimes, children need help to develop certain skills or overcome some hurdles. Be it coping with emotional and behavioural challenges, speech therapy, remedial intervention, occupational therapy, most specialists are able to provide therapy online, thereby accomodating the family’s schedule and time constraints. Such convenience can help children receive help at the earliest instead of leaving problems unattended at the risk of exacerbating them. Some of the benefits of Online Therapy are
Privacy and Convenience
With online therapy, children can attend sessions from the safety, privacy and comfort of their own home. Children are likely to feel more comfortable in a familiar setup.
A good internet connection and your child can access therapy from anywhere. This also means your child can have access to the best therapists who might be operating from a different city, thereby not limiting your choice to only therapists who are locally available. Accessibility from anywhere also provides continuity in therapy, despite disruptions that arise; vacation, lockdowns etc.
It can be overwhelming and stressful for parents to shuttle with their children from one therapy session to the next, week after week . With online sessions, you don’t need to spend time waiting in long queues at the clinic or spend hours in traffic getting to therapy sessions.
Parents can save up on travel costs and hiring caretakers they would need to supervise their other children while they’re at therapy sessions. Most online therapy sessions offer multiple specialists under one organization thereby saving on registering multiple times.
How you can help your child with Online Therapy
Make it comfortable
One of the main advantages of online therapy is that your child has access to therapy from the comfort of your home. To maximise their comfort, especially if they’re new to it, set up a comfortable space for your child to attend therapy from. A well lit space, appropriate seating that is free of noise and distraction. Prepare your child before therapy starts, letting them know how long the session will be and roughly what they can expect. Make sure their tummies are full or keep a snack ready for their break time.
This is especially true for parents of toddlers attending therapy. Just like in-person therapy, online therapy too, needs active participation from parents for therapy to be successful. This doesn’t mean we interrupt the therapist in a session or disregard their suggestions. But it’s important to know and observe what happens during your child’s therapy session. Practising skills and techniques learnt during a session in various day-day settings not only gives the child more practice but also consistency. If your therapist is following a certain plan of consequences while working on problematic behaviour, it is important you employ the same when you see your child displaying the problematic behaviour. Check with your child’s therapist how you can help. The therapist might recommend certain strategies or activities for you to try together, share feedback about techniques and need other information as they work on a plan. Your toddler might need active assistance at first and as the routine sets in, you can gradually reduce your participation and step in when necessary.
All children thrive on their parents’ support and encouragement. Counsellors might often suggest meeting the family when starting therapy in order to understand family dynamics and educate parents and siblings on the child’s needs and also determine the best course of treatment. It can give parents a different perspective on their child’s challenges and how they can support their child better. Just offering your child support, being patient when it gets tough or your child is having a bad day at therapy or anxious about an activity can be encouraging.
Progress takes time. When you enroll your child for therapy, you will need to trust the process. Children take time to adapt to therapy, make changes and show progress. The first few sessions will be challenging for both your child and the therapist as they figure out and tune in to each other’s expectations and needs. Sessions may not go as planned to accommodate how your child feels and responds. On days your child isn’t attentive or interactive, the therapist might switch to something more fun and on other days pick something more structured. But at all times, your child is learning. So be patient to see results.
Parent involvement in therapy is crucial for it to be successful. A child can greatly benefit when parents and therapists collaborate efforts and information.
If you need to know more about how online therapy works, please get in touch with us at KinderPass
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