Dear Parents, Children, and Friends,
At Chatterbox Pediatric Therapy, it has always been our number one goal to protect the health and safety of our patients and staff. During this uncertain time, with the spread of COVID-19, we will do our best to provide excellent continuity of services either in person or via telepractice (depending on insurance company approval) based upon recommendations from officials.
In anticipation that we may have to temporarily suspend in-person therapy visits, we are beginning to prepare for the potential to offer therapy services via telepractice. We have not yet decided to stop providing therapy in office all together, but are re-evaluating that on a daily basis. You should be hearing from our office staff and/or your child’s therapist this week to determine your desire or willingness to participate in telepractice.
WHEN: Since we don’t know ho long this issue will last, we have begun preparing this week (week of March 16, 2020) to do what we can to begin the transition our patients to telepractice/online sessions while still offering the in-office option for families if they choose to do so, as we adhere to strict sanitization protocol.
WHAT: The platform we have chosen for telepractice is called Clocktree. It can easily be accessed by all clients free of charge with a few simple steps to create an account for your child. Clocktree will work on any computer device with internet access and a camera, including smartphones or tables. We invite you to visit https://www.clocktree.com/ to learn more about the features as well as contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any and all questions or concerns.
ADDITIONAL DETAILS: We are working tirelessly towards assessing options for speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy in a telepractice format to minimize any disruptions in services. We are working to determine which insurances are allowing ST/PT/OT to be delivered in this method. Thus far, speech-language therapy services are the most widely implemented and approved by insurance companies. The stringent policies while face-to-face contact is being limited. Please bear with us as we navigate this unchartered territory. Copay/deductible/coinsurance all still will apply to services provided via telepractice.
WHAT TO EXPECT: Below explains what we are asking you as parents/caregivers (if you decide to continue therapy via telepractice service delivery):
- You will need to be fully active in the session
- This means you will need to provide redirection to your child as necessary as the therapist will lose the ability to cue in a tactile manner (i.e. tap on shoulder/knee/arm/etc.)
- This also indicates in most cases, you will not be able to set the session up on the phone/device and remove yourself from the interaction
- Suggestions for younger children: position the computer/device/smartphone on the floor, have siblings involved, have the parents/babysitter/etc create a “play-based” therapy setting by bringing favorite puzzles, simple toys “into the session” at the recommendation of your therapist.
- We are relying on you to act as the “facilitator” to implement the technology and help your child remain focused.
- Approach and caregiver involvement may be discussed on a “case to case” basis.
While such an uncertain time for all of us, we are trying to find the “positives” and looking forward to involving our parents more than ever before in the service delivery process. The research behind teletherapy is very positive in terms of outcomes and the child’s response to this method of service delivery. Together, we can make the best of this situation and do our best to continue creating a sense of a routine in your child’s life.