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Therapists finding new ways to reach patients during stay-at-home order

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Posted at 5:00 AM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 06:51:59-04

Therapy relationships are built over time. And when there is an interruption to that relationship, it can be detrimental to the progress of the child.

"Being that this is a supportive relationship that you have with the kid and the family and you don't know why. You don't why you can't come and play with me or where I'm going or why this is happening. It can be difficult in the long term to reestablish that," Marsha LeGoullon, co-owner of Pediatric Therapy and Learning Center, explained.

She says every child is different. That is why teletherapy has been a learning lesson for them all.

"That's what therapy is about--adapting and changing," LeGoullon said. "Our job is to adapt and change and use what we have. That's what we want for our kids, for them to adapt to their environment, which is why we do the work that we do."

LeGoullon said in some instances, it is not easy for the child to follow along with sessions. That is when they get the parents to take on a more active role.

"We see this as an opportunity to talk to the parents and coach the parents along so that they can be the play partner," LeGoullon said. "We can be the coach and voice and they can use the strategies that we are providing to them."

For some parents, LeGoullon said, this may seem like a lot. Many parents are now taking on the role of educator and therapist. LeGoullon advises parents to take a deep breath and put a schedule in place to help everything run a little more smoothly.

"If you can give your child some structure to their day and control over their day, it will be beneficial,"LeGoullon said. "For some children who have a high level of need and more need for control, let them choose from several different activities that they should complete that day that might be important for them educationally. Use therapy time for a time that you can play and be involved with them. Not worry so much about doing something right and just have your conversation being on connecting."

LeGoullon said they are looking at ways to evaluate kids online. She said that some cases can be conducted on a virtual level, but others will have to wait until they can be face-to-face.

For more information you can contact Pediatric Therapy and Learning Center at (337) 504-4244 or visit their website, www.pediatrictlc.com.