Children and youth are more comfortable interacting digitally than we are. The feedback that we have received from our child and youth clients about virtual sessions has been overwhelmingly positive.
Youth have indicated that they are not impacted by the difference in eye contact available over camera, the occasional technology blips or restricted body language; in the way that adults may express concerns about the switch to Telehealth treatments.
Can Telehealth Work for Kids?
The short answer is Yes! Whether virtual sessions are appropriate for your child does depend on their age, how verbal they are, how motivated they are to receive counselling services and what the goals of the treatment are.
If in doubt, talk to your child about how comfortable they feel about beginning or continuing their care at VPC digitally, and feel free to reach out to their VPC clinician via email to discuss the goals of the treatment and the digital interventions that could be effective for your child.
How Can I Prepare my Child for their Telehealth treatment session:
- Make sure technology is charged and functional at least 15-mins prior to their appointment- don’t forget to check your wifi connection!
- Ensure that they are in a quiet, secure location where they cannot be overheard or interrupted. Help them make a fun IN SESSION sign for their door!
- We have observed that kids’ concentration is improved if they use earbuds or noise-cancelling headphones during telehealth so they are freer from distractions
- Ensure that there are no distractions available to your child during their session. Only have therapeutic toys or drawing supplies available to your child as directed by your child’s VPC clinician.
- Parents remember to give your kids privacy! Help your child feel relaxed and at ease to share their personal feelings without being distracted and/or questioning whether family members can hear them.
- Have a secondary method of contact we could reach you or your child at, such as an alternative phone number in case the video drops.
- Ensure you’ve signed and emailed all the telehealth consents forms prior to your session starting.
- Patience around any technical difficulties that come up is required… sometimes using humour can help!
- Be sure to have your child close email and any applications that give notifications.
- Put your computer on a hard/stable surface so it doesn’t move around so your clinician can focus on you without movement.
- Have pen and paper available for your child for any note-taking your child might want to do during their session.
- Your child’s therapist may also suggest that drawing, craft supplies fidgets or other therapeutic items are available to your child for their session.
Keep in mind that if your child’s regular routine includes weekly or bi-weekly sessions, that continuity of their schedule is important to give them a sense of normalcy and predictability during these uncertain times.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s experience with telehealth at VPC, please feel free to reach out to your child’s clinician via email to discuss. Additionally, if parent feedback sessions are part of your child’s treatment plan, you can of course arrange a video call via our secure telehealth platform for your sessions as well.
Stay safe and remember that we are all in this together!