April 1st, 2020
Telesessions – Remotely Supporting our Families

In this time of global change, we are committed to continuing caring for our children and their families, hence the importance of the new healthcare buzzword—telehealth, also known as teletherapy, teleservices, telepractice, telerehabilitation, and at our very own High Hopes, telesessions.


What is a telesession?


Telesessions are therapy services—including therapeutic interviews, parent consultations, home environment assessment, and therapy sessions—delivered through online platforms.

At High Hopes, our therapists leverage the audio-visual equipment of their laptops to carry out virtual sessions while the child and parents are in the comfort of their home.


How do we plan our telesessions?


As with all services offered at High Hopes, our team works together to deliver a smooth process, from booking to delivery. The front desk and operations staff oversee booking and billing of telesessions, and support parents with using the telesession platforms.

The therapy team follows several processes to prepare for each telesession, starting from evaluating the eligibility of a child for a telesession by filling a screener form. If telesessions are not recommended for the child, the team then devises an alternative plan to support the child and family. If the child is eligible for a telesession, the team then creates a plan for the first telesession that details therapy goals, resource requirements—including space and time requirements for each therapeutic activity—, and parental involvement. We then share the plan to the parent and help them prepare for the telesession to be a success.

At the conclusion of each telesession, the therapist gathers parents’ feedback before completing the clinical and parents note. We then update and share the therapy plan with the parents to help them prepare for the following telesession.


What are the benefits of telesessions?


Research supports telesessions as virtual home visits from the therapist help enhance a family’s daily routines. They allow the therapist to evaluate the set-up of a child’s mealtime, the light used for playtime, and the child’s standing position in their standing frame. They also enable the therapist to provide parents with thorough guidelines on adapting activities to the child’s needs and using the recommended tools, which can further support the child’s development.

Moreover, telesessions lead to hassle-free parent consultation through specially designed programs such as Hanen More Than Words, a communication program; and Triple P Stepping Stones, a behavioral support program.


What are the requirements of a telesessions?


A reliable internet connection, a laptop supported by a stable surface, and a quiet room are crucial for efficient telesessions. Therapists may sometimes use interactive screens during the telesessions and these will not display properly on a smartphone or a tablet.

Parents need to ensure they prepare the resources detailed in the telesession plan ahead of time for smooth transitions between activities during the session.


Will my insurance cover telesessions?


Please check with your insurance provider if your plan covers telesessions. Some providers may be updating their policies considering the current situation.

High Hopes is now open for bookings of telesessions. To learn more, please contact us.


Sources:

American Telemedicine Association: A blueprint for telerehabilitation guidelines. 2010.
Wales D, Skinner L, & Hayman M. The Efficacy of Telehealth-Delivered Speech and Language Intervention for Primary School-Age Children: A Systematic Review. International journal of telerehabilitation 2017, 9(1), 55–70. 2017. https://doi.org/10.5195/ijt.2017.6219
Tousignant, M., Boissy, P., Moffet, H., et al.Telemedicine and e-Health. Jun 2011, 376-382. http://doi.org/10.1089/tmj.2010.0198



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