Brett Gottman, OT, is finds that remote occupational therapy is having an excellent effect on his patients, and his patients’ parents are very pleased with the results.
Regulating Sensory Input
“The kids I am working with remotely primarily have problems with sensory integration. They have sensory processing difficulties, so they have trouble regulating sensory input.”
“The parent is there right through the entire session. I can provide ongoing education, usually on a weekly basis. During the remote sessions, I give the parents the tools they need so they can establish a structured routine.
“The kids I work with suffer from distractibility – they can’t sit still to get the task done. I give the parents an activity list that incorporates the child’s interests. So, if a child likes to high impact activities, I suggest letting him help with the laundry, or carrying groceries. Doing heavy work like that can physically tire the child out and help them relax and remain focused.”
“Other strategies might be to have a child jump on a trampoline for 5 – 10 minutes, or to push or carry a heavy object. Some find that lying prone over a yoga ball has a calming effect. The deep pressure from lying in that position acts like a calming hug.”
The opposite are kids needing more input to get moving. These kids need running, jumping jacks – anything that gets the heart rate up and provides the system the movement it’s craving.
Either way, Brett recommends making a detailed time schedule.
“Designate times for waking up, meals, bedtime, as well as times set aside for self-expression, a structured recess.”
“I’ve had a lot of positive feedback to providing therapy remotely,” says Brett. “The parents are very receptive to everything. We are all undergoing a major change in routine right now and having a toolbox of activities helps children and parents alike remain focused and engaged.”