Local pediatric therapists continue working with kids virtually

Published: Apr. 30, 2020 at 6:04 PM MDT
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As COVID-19 became more prominent in Pennington County, therapists at Black Hills Pediatric Therapy felt less and less comfortable moving from home to home to work with kids.

Now, they are fully utilizing telehealth services to connect with the kids and their families.

Each session is unique, but one occupational therapist says she helps coach the parents to do the therapy sessions and describes the parent’s role as “her hands” from behind the computer screen.

She thinks that Black Hills Pediatric Therapy might utilize telehealth services more frequently when the pandemic is over.

“Well, I think it will be more prominent now,” said Becky Almeida, an occupational therapist at Black Hills Pediatric Therapy. “Obviously, we’re going to prefer to go in the home, but especially with the kids out in the rural areas who we’re maybe not able to see face to face. I think that this gave us a good trial run for figuring out, well, now we can do therapy over video conferencing and we’ll be more confident about it.”

Almeida also says she has to be creative and use objects from the home during the sessions, like blowing bubbles in a large bowl with dish soap through a straw to work on self-regulation.