The Virtual Pediatric OT provides many resources for online virtual occupational therapists. This post was originally written in March of 2020. At that time I had worked for several years as a virtual online occupational therapist with children as young as 3 through high school. At that time many OTs were going to online schooling and clinics starting teletherapy, many children are being seen via online virtual occupational therapy services for the first time.
I loved being a virtual OT! But to be honest with you, the first time I interviewed for a virtual position I admitted I could not envision how online Occupational Therapy could work!
The articles on TheVirtualPediatricOT.com consolidate great ideas from various sources. I hope this helps keep our therapists working, and help our clients and students at the same time.
How do I start providing Occupational Therapy teletherapy?
First: Online occupational therapy is not that different than in-person therapy!
I repeat: Online occupational therapy is not that different than in-person therapy!
Start by thinking about what you do with your students and clients in person. Then think about the structure of your sessions. What are the child's goals? How can I accomplish these without touching my students/clients? Can I use videos? Parent Handouts? Online whiteboards?
Brush up on your coaching and parent intervention skills. So much of your sessions will become coaching. The first sessions will most likely be parent check-ins and informational. And more sessions will become coaching and consultation.
What do you need to get started? Not much!
1 – Headphones and a computer camera (external is recommended but not necessary)
2 – Good internet – Check your speeds at speedtest.net
3 – Platform – you will need a hosting platform. Zoom and Go to Meeting are good ones. Check with your employer if need to use one that is HIPAA compliant.
4 – Screenshare is your friend! Start scanning in worksheets ASAP to share now. For a tutorial on how to do a scan using your iPhone, click here.
5 – Make a new folder on your desktop for materials to screen share with your students (be careful with sharing documents over google docs, dropbox, etc due to copyright infringement)
6 – Make a new favorites folder on your browser for websites to screen share
Other Great Just Starting Resources
Checklist with Pro Tips for Running Your First Pediatric Teletherapy Session – from Theraweconnect
Pediatric activities that work well during online OT sessions.
Find more ideas on my other pages linked at the top of the page. I hope this helps in your occupational therapy teletherapy journey!