Benefits of Online Occupational Therapy You May Not Know About | Prese

Rosemarie Helton is a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist.  She has been an Occupational Therapist for over 10 years and has worked in a variety of therapy settings including outpatient pediatrics, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation and acute care, school district, home health care and online and virtual school settings.

Rosemarie is a just major proponent of online occupational therapy in K-12 schools at down with me for a brief Q&A where we discussed the common misconceptions surrounding online occupational therapy as well as some benefits most are not aware of.

1. What is one major misconception about online occupational therapy that you’d like to address?
I would like to address the misconception that occupational therapy cannot be delivered online using a virtual setting. Most people I talk to think occupational therapy services can only be delivered directly in-person or as a consultative service. Occupational therapy services can be delivered online through a virtual setting and can be very effective and beneficial. It takes an innovative and team approach. This service delivery type encourages the therapist, student and support person (learning coach) to work together to complete therapy sessions and carry over strategies and skills to the natural learning environment.

2. Why is it beneficial for K-12 schools to adopt online occupational therapy?
It is beneficial for K-12 to adopt online occupational therapy to increase access to services. For many students and families traveling to a clinic or even locating a qualified person in their area is difficult and sometime impossible. This is a way for occupational therapy services to be brought directly into the home and academic environment where carryover and consistency can be utilized more effectively. It is cost effective and can be delivered on a day and time that is convenient for the student and the family. Skills, strategies and recommendations practiced and learned during therapy sessions can easily be generalized and utilized in the same environment they are taught.

3. What are some benefits of online occupational therapy that many may not be aware of?
Some benefits of online occupational therapy services that many may not be aware of include increased team/parent involvement, increased carry over of strategies and recommendations in the academic and home environment and access to innovative technology and resources to aide in therapy delivery and overall progress.



Online Occupational Therapy WebinarTo learn more about online occupational therapy and hear insight from special education leaders, sign-up for our next SPED AHEAD webinar on February 5, 2013. Guest presenters include Dr. Rondalyn Whitney and Michael Berthelette, VP of Community Outreach & Education and Occupational Therapy at Allied Health Media.

What are some concerns you have about online occupational therapy? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @PresenceLearn.

3 responses to “Some Benefits of Online Occupational Therapy You May Not Know About

  1. How can an online occupational therapist deals with a person that requires fine motor skills or gross motor skills practise?

  2. An online OT works with a client on these skills in a very similar way that an onsite OT would. For example, if we are working on finger strengthening virtually, we might ask a client to hide and find pennies in theraputty. The therapist and client would both have the same materials (putty and pennies) at their individual locations. Then both OT and client would point their web-cam down at their tabletop to show their hands. The therapist would demonstrate the theraputty activity and would then be able to see the client perform the activity, across the web-cam. Gross motor skills practice would work in a similar way. If the client were working on how to perform crab walks for work on upper body strength and endurance, the web-camera would be positioned such that the client could see the OT’s body while she is demonstrating how to do a crab walk while down on her floor. The client would then position their camera and do the same activity with the OT observing and giving verbal cues across the web-cam. A support person is always present with the client. The support person helps the client to gather needed materials and with positioning the camera so the OT can see what he / she needs to see. The support person also helps with carry-over between sessions.

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