With learning from home in place for many children in term 2, how does therapy look for students and their families who usually have therapy sessions at school?
There are several ways Everyday Independence therapists are continuing to provide quality goal-directed therapy to young people and their families while they learn from home. In fact, for some families continuing therapy is a really important way to maintain a sense of normality and support for young people who are feeling overwhelmed.
We are offering therapy in-person at home where appropriate utilising hygiene and social distancing and also providing therapy online and over the phone.
- Our occupational therapists, speech pathologists, and physiotherapists are supporting young people and families to implement stress management techniques to reduce anxiety and manage changes in behaviour by modifying the home environment to produce a positive learning space for students to be in. For example, arranging a suitable place in the home away from distractions that quiet learning can take place.
- We are also developing routines and creating schedules that include study time, leisure activities, and physical exercise which can shape how the young person and family members fill in their day.
- Our therapy sessions focus on finding new activities that are engaging, stimulating, and meaningful for inside the home, in the backyard, and with all members of the family. For instance, using Lego to focus on improving attention, cultivating creativity, and developing fine motor skills.
Building capacity of families
- Therapy in the home school environment often involves building the capacity of families using technology and considering how the student best learns. For example, do they need to learn with someone, do they learn by doing or do they need a pen and paper to concentrate? Can they use an iPad and how often will they need breaks?
- If a student was working on social skills at school, our therapists can support the student to connect through online platforms in a safe way to build opportunities for social play with family, school mates, and other friends or by using phone or video calls. Some children and teens may find this approach to be easier than face to face which can be a great building block for future therapy sessions.
- Our therapists are also helping families to explore resources that can support them during this time. They do this by supporting family members to look at ways they can seek support through schools, and if funded supports can be used and how would this be set up to be successful.
- We can support families who have multiple children learning in this way to enable group learning and build online connections for parents in similar environments so they can support each other.
Like school, therapy sessions will look different for some young people during COVID -19 and our therapists are finding positive outcomes through many of their approaches.
Our therapists are continuing to adapt and develop therapy sessions that best support children and teens so they can continue to achieve their goals. If you would like to talk to us about how we can support a student or family you work with please contact us on 1300 179 131 or via our referral form on our website.