Occupational therapy is an evidence based, science-driven discipline and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA.org) provides an abundance of evidence-based resources for families, teachers and administrators. AOTA recognizes online OT as effective.
SUMMARY: Occupation-Based Coaching delivered via telehealth appears to be an effective method of intervention to increase parent efficacy and child participation among families of children with ASD. Occupational therapists may consider how telehealth may be used to provide intervention to an increased number of families, in particular those in underserved areas.
SUMMARY: This pilot study was conducted with children attending an online charter school with difficulties in the areas of fine motor and/or visual motor skills which impacted success with handwriting. Each participant completed a virtual evaluation and six 30-minute intervention sessions. The Print Tool™ Assessment was used to determine progress pre- and post-program. Outcomes revealed improvements in handwriting performance for most students and high satisfaction rates.
SUMMARY: Occupational therapy practitioners use telehealth as a service delivery model to help clients develop skills; incorporate assistive technology and adaptive techniques; modify work, home, or school environments; and create health-promoting habits and routines. Benefits of a telehealth service delivery model include increased accessibility of services to clients who live in remote or underserved areas, improved access to providers and specialists otherwise unavailable to clients, prevention of unnecessary delays in receiving care, and workforce enhancement through consultation and research among others (Cason, 2012a, 2012b). By removing barriers to accessing care, including social stigma, travel, and socioeconomic and cultural barriers, the use of telehealth as a service delivery model within occupational therapy leads to improved access to care and ameliorates the impact of personnel shortages in underserved areas. Telehealth has potential as a service delivery model in each major practice area within occupational therapy.
SUMMARY: Although there is consensus that parents should be involved in interventions designed for young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), parent participation alone does not ensure consistent, generalized gains in children’s development. Barriers such as costly intervention, time-intensive sessions, and family life may prevent parents from using the intervention at home. Telehealth integrates communication technologies to provide health-related services at a distance. A 12 one-hour per week parent intervention program was tested using telehealth delivery with nine families with ASD. The goal was to examine its feasibility and acceptance for promoting child learning throughout families’ daily play and caretaking interactions at home. Parents became skilled at using teachable moments to promote children’s spontaneous language and imitation skills and were pleased with the support and ease of telehealth learning. Preliminary results suggest the potential of technology for helping parents understand and use early intervention practices more often in their daily interactions with children.
SUMMARY: Using telerehabilitation for early intervention therapy services, rural families received occupational therapy services over a 12-week period. Results indicated that telerehabilitation has the potential to cost-effectively meet the therapeutic needs of children living in rural areas where provider shortages exist, and can ameliorate health disparities and improve access to rehabilitation services.
SUMMARY: Parents, teachers and providers reported significant improvement in the following three areas upon the introduction of school-based telehealth technology in Hawaii: