Guy concentrating on pushing buttons that light up to test reflexes.

As a parent, all you want to do is help your child reach their goals and live a great life. Telehealth therapy at ChildServe can help you do just that.

Why Telehealth?

Our community is being asked to practice social distancing, but the goals of each child we serve are too important to stop our work. Telehealth appointments give kids continued access to the life-changing services they need from the safety of their home.

If you have been considering telehealth, now is the perfect time to try it out. In the first few weeks we’ve offered this service the “great life” moments we are used to seeing here at ChildServe have continued to flow in. The benefits of telehealth have been so exciting, that our therapy teams want to spread the word!

Here’s what we’re loving about telehealth:

1 ) Telehealth helps your child practice their goals in the most important environment – home!  Our therapists can help you and your child safely try out movements, exercises, and activities in the environment you use most often. ChildServe currently offers telehealth for speech, occupational, physical and mental health therapy. Whether you use a favorite toy as motivation, use “pet introductions” to practice social skills, or get advice for safely using your staircase, the opportunities to personalize each appointment are endless.

  • Real Life Example:  “When I started seeing a child I typically see in person through telehealth, I discovered that they live in a multi-level home with lots of stairs. After asking some questions, I found that the child needs to be carried down the stairs as well as carried in/out of the bathtub. These important conversations aren’t always top-of-mind when parents come in for therapy. Thanks to telehealth, we have been able to explore these two areas in the home environment and find ways to make these transfers easier on the parents and help the child build independence to do more on their own!” – Katie Purcell, Physical Therapist

2) The real magic of therapy happens at home:  Therapists often give families “homework” to practice throughout the week. These daily exercises are the key to helping kids reach their goals. By getting a glimpse into your home environment, therapists can make this home programming even better. The therapists can help you use the tools, toys, space – and even siblings – around you to increase motivation and participation!

  • I work with a child with cerebral palsy who was having a hard time with laundry. We have practiced at ChildServe plenty of times, but she was having a hard time applying it at home. Through telehealth, I was able to see that the washer and dryer were down stairs and had completely different controls that our washer and dryer at ChildServe! We were able to adjust our approach and come up with ways to adapt getting the laundry down the stairs, sorting her own clothing, and selecting the correct settings!” – Amanda Willems, Occupational Therapist

3 ) Telehealth Helps Kids Keep Moving Forward: Like most things in life, if you’re not practicing, you’re not improving. Telehealth can help kids continue to make progress in the skill areas that are important to them, rather than backsliding over a few months off. Telehealth is built to empower parents with knowledge and tools so that children can keep moving forward.

  • “For babies who have torticollis, time is critical. We help stretch and strengthen their neck muscles as early as possible, because as they get older, the torticollis is less manageable. By seeing babies who have torticollis over telehealth, we help coach parents on the correct exercises to choose, the right way to do those exercises, and we help them adjust what they work on as their child improves.” – Katie Purcell, Physical Therapist

4) We’re All Learning Together! Many parents are intimidated by the idea of telehealth, but many of our therapists are new to the world of telehealth too! We’re ready to wade through the challenges and new experiences together. We can’t wait to partner with you!

  • “Telehealth has given us the opportunity to be extra flexible, functional, and fun. We love to get creative with how we can make therapy fun using your child’s favorite toys at home, dance breaks, show & tell with pets, virtual games, and more. It’s been exciting to see all we have been able to accomplish and the ideas and teamwork cultivated by families, clinicians, and the organization as a whole!” – Samantha Sutton, Speech Language Pathologist

“Will My Child Benefit from Telehealth?”

Whether you’re new to ChildServe or have partnered with us for years, we encourage all families to consider giving telehealth a try. Visit our service webpages for more information about speech, physical, occupational, and mental health therapy, or give us a call to get started:

  • Ames: 515-232-7220
  • Iowa City: 319-351-5437
  • Johnston: 515-331-4518

About

ChildServe improves the health and well-being of more than 4,600 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, acquired injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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