Online Occupational Therapy:
What It Is and
What It Is Not
Have you ever imagined how amazing you could be if only…? For instance, if only you had a certain tool, extra time, more support, or a magic wand…then you could really make a difference.
The real magic wand here is called access. Access is our connection between a wish and amazing. Whether you are a professional or a student, having access to tools and support can be life changing.
At TinyEYE, our online occupational therapists and online speech-language pathologists give our schools consistent access to outstanding therapy services for educators, caregivers, and students. When you recognize the benefit that our presence has brought to schools, imagine the tragedy that our absence would have on student outcomes. Today, all children can have equal access (or a magic wand) through our award winning, virtual therapy services innovations. To further explore how our specially trained therapy team serves our students in need of occupational therapy support, I have highlighted key points about what online OT is, and what it is not:
Online Occupational Therapy: What It Is
- Presence: TinyEYE’s online OTs build a relationship with schools to create a student-focused partnership that achieves their program objectives. Telepractice creates a pathway to our schools so that they are no longer impeded by barriers such as geopraphy, travel expenses, time restraints, or the struggle to recruit and retain therapists. Instead, our licenced therapists maintain a regular presence in your classrooms, staff rooms, and therapy rooms. Ultimately, the outcomes include empowered teachers and engaged students.
- Mobility: Today’s technology gives mobility to our presence. In addition to interacting with students through the computer or SMART Board, we join students at their desks, in the hallways, and even in gym class through remote webcameras and…robots! Check out my visit as a robot to one of our classrooms. Click on the video link on the website. ROBOT VIDEO: http://www.tinyeye.com/
- Engaging: TinyEYE’s therapists bring more than successful clinical experience to their schools. We also bring buckets of spark. Driven by our purpose to grow smiles, mend spirits, and engage children in their lives, our online OTs are specially proficient with leading with joy and intention. Programing builds on our students’ daily lives and then inspires curious learning so that they can dream beyond today.
- Effective: With more than 100 000 online sessions and thousands of student graduates, we have proven results regarding the efficacy of online therapy services. When exceptional therapists have a magic wand, or access, we can show up and make a difference. While schools appreciate our productive and supportive service platform, students grow forward with unlocked potential. We are so proud of our students!!
- Partnership: When we partner with schools, we build in clarity about how each person on the support team at school and TinyEYE will contribute to service excellence for our students. Tech support leaders, special education teams, and ehelpers are just a few examples of people who commit to the students’ experience.
- Comprehensive: TinyEYE’s therapists pledge to serve as a solution for all students who need our support. We can find a way. We can influence change. We can be the difference in a student’s life. We will not say, “We do not work with that” or “We can not help her.” There is always a way to achieve student outcomes, whether it is through direct support or enriched collaboration. Below is a list of common OT services in schools:
Common OT Services in Schools
- First, we seek to understand the preferences, goals, and capacity of the school and home so that our investment is relevant to the child’s life.
- We support underlying skills required to concentrate, move their bodies, interpret sensory information, and use tools (such as pencils and scissors).
- With students aged from 0-5, we focus on the basic skills that a child needs to be able to play, such as positioning, seating, and hand use. At this age we concentrate on prewriting skills, along with proprioception (where my body is in space) and visual skills. We also work with parents to address any difficulties they may have with managing their child’s daily activities, such as bathing and dressing.
- With school aged children, the skills supported could include reading and writing, participating in groups, controlling anger, independence with activities of daily living, or preparing to transition from school to adulthood.
- We also provide adaptations to tasks or equipment so that the child can be successful. Examples are special seating cushions, weighted pencils, enlarged grips, and spring loaded scissors. We may consult with schools and teachers about using alternative methods of recording work such as using a computer, or allowing a student to record a class in order to study again at home.
- We work very closely with our students’ speech and language therapists to deliver a holistic service.
- We are present in IEP meetings, parent conferences, teacher inservices, student lunches, and any another time we can contribute to our schools.
Online Occupational Therapy: What It Is Not
- Inferior – it is not inferior: Our therapists bring the same talent and dedication to our schools through our online platform as they would if they walked in on feet. Online occupational therapy requires quality technology and outstanding therapists who apply best practice. TinyEYE is accountable for both of these contributions to service excellence.
- Computer box – it is not a computer box: Our therapists are not stuck in the confines of their computer screen. We infuse ourselves into the school family, build relationships with student support teams, and ensure our investment is relevant throughout the child’s daily learning experience.
- Just technology – it is not just technology: While telepractice provides the tools that give us presence and mobility, the therapist provides the service. We invest into our therapists to leverage their professional experience and service impact.
- Limited – it is not limited: We are preparing children for the world to which they are going, rather than the world from which we are coming. We must continue to lean into innovations that layer progress onto our student support systems. Countless technologies are involved in giving children engaging access to learning experiences.
- New – it is not new: Telepractice is a tool that has been incorporated by occupational therapists. A starting place of reference is the (CAOT) Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists’ position paper on telehealth and e-occupational therapy: https://www.caot.ca/default.asp?ChangeID=170&pageID=4005
- Replacement – it is not a replacement: Online occupational therapy was not invented to replace occupational therapists. We created our online platform to give dedicated OTs a tool for providing effective services to schools that previously struggled with underservice. Previous to online services, our students did not have a best-scenerio therapy situation. Without online therapy, they did not have equal access to life changing support.