Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, many people have shifted to virtual ways of doing things that were previously done in person.
Although COVID numbers are starting to drop, many people are wanting to maintain some of the changes made during this period, such as remote work and virtual medical appointments.
Virtual appointments such as teletherapy can save people time, money, and offer the ability to fit in appointments where previously it may have been difficult.
Here at Little Feet Therapy, we offer our pediatric therapy services, including both physical therapy and occupational therapy, virtually.
Is pediatric teletherapy right for you and your child? Keep reading to find out how it works.
What Is Teletherapy?
Simply put, teletherapy is therapy services offered virtually, via phone or, more typically today, video chat.
Although it was around before the COVID-19 pandemic, teletherapy services have become much more popular over the past two years, as it allowed people to continue seeking services when services at in person clinics were closed or limited.
Teletherapy offers people the opportunity to seek treatment from the comfort of their homes, or on a lunch break without needing to travel to a clinic.
It also allows more choice, as people are able to see practitioners who might be too for them to reasonably travel to on a regular basis for appointments.
Is Teletherapy Effective?
Teletherapy has been shown to be incredibly effective and often has higher rates of adherence than traditional therapy.
This may be surprising, as one hallmark of in person therapy sessions includes hands on adjustments, stretches, and other physical corrections.
Clinicians, however, have managed to develop ways to effectively guide patients through exercises virtually, and offer feedback and demonstrations to ensure exercises are being done properly.
Why Use Teletherapy?
You might be asking if teletherapy is the right choice for you.
Let’s review some common reasons someone may choose teletherapy services over traditional in person services.
If Your Condition Is Too Severe To Visit A Clinic In Person
If your condition is very severe, it could make accessing in person therapy difficult.
This could include:
- Immunocompromised individuals who are trying to limit their potential exposure to COVID-19 and other pathogens
- People with severe anxiety or agoraphobia
- Those with autism spectrum disorder who find in person situations difficult
If You Live Far From A Clinic
Before teletherapy services were common, people were limited to clinics which were close to them geographically.
And if you lived too far from a clinic you were either out of luck or stuck traveling long distances to access care.
Teletherapy allows people who live in remote, rural, areas easier access to therapy.
And, even for those who live in more urban settings it offers more options, in case you can’t find exactly the services you are looking for closer to home.
Here at Little Feet Therapy, we’re licensed to practice in the states of North Carolina, Missouri, Virginia, Maryland, Indiana, Ohio, and the District of Columbia – if you live in one of these areas, we have a pediatric therapist who can help.
If You Have A Stressful Schedule
For many people, life got even more stressful during the pandemic.
As many people adjusted to working from home, they also had to balance children being home instead of in school.
Those who work in “essential” jobs may have found their schedules even busier than they previously were.
Teletherapy appointments mean it’s often easier to find the time in your day to fit in, because they eliminate travel time to and from appointments.
Is Teletherapy Covered By Insurance?
Most insurance companies treat virtual services the same as they would an in person visit.
Services can also be paid for using payments from Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), depending on your plan.
Of course, it’s always best to check the specific details of your individual insurance plan for confirmation.
What Do I Need For A Teletherapy Appointment?
If you are preparing for a telehealth appointment, you’ll want to be equipped with:
- A space with good lighting for your child to do their exercises – it should have room to move around, stretch, and lie down
- This space should ideally also be somewhere quiet and free of interruptions
- Comfortable clothing which is easy for your child to move around in
- Reliable internet connection
- A device with a webcam and microphone to connect to your appointment; although a laptop or tablet which can easily be moved around is generally easiest to work with, we can work with a smartphone or desktop computer as well
- Exercise equipment such as resistance bands, weights, or foam rollers – if you already have these things on hand, your therapist will discuss the best ways to incorporate these into your training sessions
- Something to use to prop up your phone or table if required, so you can use your device hands free
Do you think teletherapy services are the right choice for your child?
Perhaps your child is too young to have received a COVID vaccine, and you’re worried about bringing them to in person appointments. Or they’re uncomfortable in new situations due to a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.
At Little Feet Therapy we offer virtual occupational therapy and physical therapy services, to better help fit treatments into your life.
Contact us today for more information.