While Cognus therapists have been delivering virtual therapy and supporting families during COVID-19, here is one of our Occupational Therapist’s account of her time as a remote therapist during lockdown.
All has been going well with my sessions over the past few days remotely via Skype or Microsoft Teams. I had four sessions yesterday and four today – they were really great sessions as we got to do functional activities in the house such as hanging up clothing on the washing line, practicing using a knife and fork while eating lunch and different ways of doing buttons and laces. I sent a couple videos afterwards of me doing laces and buttons to help them practice over the next week.
I saw also saw a student this afternoon and she did really well and was able to sit to stand while hanging up her dolls, and then washing her tea set in standing which was a huge achievement. She has definitely shown improvement in her physical endurance and balance.
I also had a phone call session with a mum to advise on relaxation therapy techniques to support her child with her sleeping patterns since she is now out of routine.
I also managed to re-assess a child for his transition EHCP annual review remotely which is a first.
I’m definitely seeing lots of benefits of providing online therapy as I am finding things out I didn’t know before doing these sessions in the home environment.
Today, I had another successful day – I saw a child from a primary school via Teams and we did a functional game involving laces, buttons, cutlery use and zips. It was lots of fun and mum said she would practice these skills with her. We’ve also realised that she finds it difficult to use the cutlery because she finds it slippery so I discussed with mum using foam to help with grip and resistance.
I put together my own animal walk jungle video, which I sent to a child who finds it difficult to attend to a video sessions-dad said it worked better than the live sessions. I also saw two other children who are definitely gaining more skills in doing buttons and other in hand manipulation activities. Dad said one of the child’s buttoning has definitely improved!
I completed my write ups for the day and then spent the last hour making a dance video to “Shake it off” by Taylor Swift ha-ha – I have a little girl who loves Taylor Swift and doesn’t respond too much during our video sessions so hoping learning a dance will do the trick!
Having a meeting this week with another Occupational Therapist about planning our online CPD session we are offering to schools, we will be focusing on supporting fine motor skills in school, looking forward to delivering this remotely via Teams.
I had very good day today with my sessions. My first one was a joint speech and language/ OT session. We’ve both been struggling with supporting the child to regulate enough to be able to engage in sessions but today with both of us present, it went really well using a combination of functional/multi-sensory and communication strategies. She did an activity of hanging up different clothes items and she talked us through the sequence, then she was rewarded by doing an experiment with bicarb, vinegar and food colouring so it made a volcano fizz – she was so fascinated by this and communicated so much better.
The next four sessions I did baking activities (my entire kitchen is currently full of biscuits). I had a lovely session with a girl from a secondary school, who finds social skills and cues difficult to follow and as a result of this she is sometimes excluded by her friends. Doing a baking activity with her, really encouraged her to chat and feel comfortable during the session. We both baked different flavours – mine coconut and hers chocolate chip. She had the idea to have an exchange so that we could taste each other’s biscuits. So, I drove to their house and we stood in the driveway exchanging biscuits!