Principles of remote therapy

Remote therapy  may be very convenient for the patient and the therapist, home care in the child's natural environment, can also be performed when it is difficult to leave the home, and there is greater flexibility in the availability of therapists to patients residing in distant locations. There is widespread agreement by the Israeli Ministry of Health (position paper of the Ministry of Health) and large health organizations such as AAN that remote treatment may be of value to patients.

And yet it is not easy to do it right, and those who are not accustomed to it are required to adapt.

Some rules that it is important that you and your patients abide by for successful meetings.

Preparing for remote therapy:

-  For the first time, it is useful to start collecting the relevant information for diagnosis and treatment. Ask patients to submit this information in advance through our system, saving valuable time in gathering information and documentation as you will receive a summary of all medical and developmental information and will not miss important details. To understand how this happens, click here.

- It is sometimes easier to get started on the phone, in a quick transition to the information collected and in preparation for working with the child to prepare the parents for the video call.

- Record consent for remote therapy - this is a requirement of the Ministry of Health.

- Align expectations with your patients. Explain and prepare the patients  for the session. It's ok, not every meeting will be ideal, but there will be meetings where the home environment is actually relaxing and inviting activities that cannot be done in an unfamiliar environment.

- Take into account that sometimes parents' practice of working at home in front of a camera is required. Adapt to the technology, give them and you time, encourage and soothe to make them feel comfortable and to know that they are hearing and seeing properly.

- Try to come up with a neat array of what you want to do at the meeting. Instruct parents in advance if any environment or games are required in the room.

During treatment:

- Invest time at the beginning of the session to make sure you and the parents see and hear.

- The camera must be positioned so that the child's space is visible - To avoid dazzle, do not place a camera in front of open windows. Try to choose a different angle or close blinds / curtains.

- Photography can be taken from any of the cameras on the phone, preferably with the back camera.

- If two parents are available you can ask one parent to be in charge of the photography and guide throughout the session how to adjust the camera position to what is happening in the room.

- Make sure the parent hears the instructions carefully with / without headphones, even if he stays away from the phone he is recording.

- Keep a quiet, no-noise-free environment, close a TV, or operated radio in the background.

- Parents should be prepared in advance for the equipment that is required for therapy when it is accessible, It's a good idea to take a look at what the parents have prepared before starting the child.

- If you want to share information from your computer screen, check that it is open and working , and that parents see good quality before working with the child .

-Plan ahead but try to flow with what's developing in the room

Good luck !!