Therapy in a virtual world: Alex’s story

Therapy in a virtual world: Alex's story
Posted on Mon 4 May 2020

My son Alex has attended Cerebral Palsy Alliance at the Allambie Heights campus from two to five years of age. Alex lives with left-sided hemiplegia and the support he’s received has really helped him to flourish and prepare him for starting Kindergarten this year.

 

What were your first thoughts about the prospect of a Telepractice session?

My first thoughts when I found out that Telepractice was available was that it worth a try. We had completed three weeks of remote learning at home, and I was keen for Alex to have educational input from someone other than his parents.

I had some concerns with Alex moving to sessions via Telepractice. These were whether Alex would engage with his therapist over the screen and how I would manage my younger children during the sessions.

Alex was able to engage with his therapist well. This was really helped by their pre-existing relationship. His therapist followed familiar routines they’d established from face-to-face sessions, such as greetings, news, movement exercises, table top work and familiar songs.

To make sure Alex was able to get the most out of his sessions and not be distracted by his younger siblings I organised his sessions around my husband’s work schedule. We are fortunate that he is working from home at this time.

 

Did the sessions via Telepractice meet your expectations?

The Telepractice sessions exceeded my expectations. Before Alex’s first session I was unsure whether it was a good idea as it was new and different. As soon as we connected online with Alex’s therapist and went through familiar routines all my concerns vanished. At the end of session, I was able to speak with the therapist alone where we would discuss the focus for the next session.

 

Did the session surprise you in anyway?

I was surprised how quickly we all adapted to this new way of doing therapy. The technology was manageable and became easier to navigate as we went along.

 

What was the outcome?

I am really happy that we tried Telepractice. Alex gained a lot of confidence as he went through the sessions. It was also a good exercise in being adaptable and accepting change, something which we can all find difficult at times.

Overall, Alex engaged well in the sessions. The only time when he didn’t was when he hadn’t had a good night’s sleep before and was tired during his session. This isn’t something unique to Telepractice though, as parents know, a good night’s sleep really helps a child engage in therapy.

 

What are Alex’s therapy goals via Telepractice?

My main goal for Alex’s recent Telepractice was to work on fine motor skills with a focus on handwriting. After spending weeks helping Alex with remote learning I had run out of ideas. After discussing my concerns with his therapist at the end of a session, the therapist was able to design a simple yet effective therapy activity for his next session that was at the perfect level for Alex.

 

Would you recommend Telepractice?

I would recommend parents have an open mind and consider whether it could help their child. My main tips for anyone starting Telepractice are:

 

  • To be prepared before the session by having devices charged.

 

  • To have a practice run of logging into the online portal so you are familiar with the process and to iron out any technical problems.

 

  • To have any home materials needed for therapy on hand (i.e. pen, paper, news items, any equipment).

 

  • To have a distraction-free environment. Consider what arrangements would help facilitate this.

 

Have you planned future sessions via Telepractice?

I plan to engage with Telepractice on an as needed basis as we head into term two. If there are areas where Alex would benefit from the input from his therapist then I won’t hesitate to book in. Hopefully we will be able to attend the next holiday session face to face. If not then I will book Telepractice sessions in the school holidays. 

 

Chat to our team now on 1300 888 378 to see which services are available via CPA Telepractice. Check out the range of services available through CPA@home. Download our service catalogue.

Newcastle Knights supporters recently raised over $600 for CPA through the 50-50 Charity Raffle. 

William Best, graduate of the HABIT-ILE intensive program has achieved his first profesional film role at aged13. 


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