Online therapy, a part of Telepractice or Telehealth, is the new normal for children with a disability or developmental delay and their families. Many may be wondering if it is as effective as face to face sessions.
In fact, Telepractice was successfully used for early childhood intervention long before the COVID-19 pandemic, and Lorraine Heywood has been helping us to learn more. With over 15 years’ experience in ageing, disability and home care, she most recently worked at Early Childhood Intervention Australia and supported organisations to transition to the NDIS.
Lorraine’s findings were presented at our 4th Annual Family Conference in 2020. Telepractice’s benefits included better accessibility because of less travel. It enabled sessions in a child’s natural environment and during routines that would be difficult for in-person visits. In some cases, the child became more engaged compared with face-to-face sessions. More flexibility led to fewer missed sessions and better continuity of care.
During pandemic restrictions, providers could keep working with parents to achieve their child and the entire family’s goals—and stay safe.
There were also challenges, especially for families with no Telepractice experience. A common one was the belief that a lack of face-to-face interaction could negatively impact children and parent’s relationship with professionals.
That’s just a few examples of the many insights Lorraine discovered. You can read more about her findings in this interview
Also from our 4th Family Conference:
View Telepractice: a family guide and resource, an eBook with practical tips on achieving positive outcomes for children and the entire family with teleconferencing
Download the 4th Annual Conference Parent Statement that summarises the event’s key points and guides the way forward
Watch an interview with Audrey O’Connor, who is inspiring people with disability to make a difference through cinema