There are many ways to deliver therapy services based on sound scientific research and methodologies. In particular, telehealth makes treatments and other forms of therapy, like occupational therapy, accessible.
Telehealth, or telemedicine, is not a new field of practice. In fact, it has been around since the early 20th century. And with the help of advancements in science and technology, it continues to grow. The role of telehealth became more relevant nowadays as we continue to face COVID-19. But how does telehealth practice benefit people diagnosed with ADHD specifically? Read on to learn more!
Telehealth Connects Therapy And Technology
Think about how technology and the internet have changed our lives. An unimaginable wealth of information is literally at our fingertips. We can use messaging applications to connect with people who are thousands of miles away. We’re also able to purchase our favorite products and services within the comforts of our homes. And the benefits of technology don’t stop here. With it, we can now access reliable healthcare much more conveniently.
Telehealth is a prime example of this. For example, you can use the internet to schedule an online video consultation with your doctor. After your consultation, they might give you an online prescription of the medication you need to take. And since you’re already on the internet, you can also buy your prescribed meds online.
Furthermore, technology can help us monitor and learn more about our health. If you need to keep track of your weight and diet, there’s an app for that. If you need to set reminders for your next appointment, you can use an online calendar. And if you want to learn more about ADHD or other health concerns, you can know more by reading about them on reliable websites.
Nearly all branches of healthcare can make use of telehealth. Currently, it is a more convenient and safer alternative to an in-person consultation. Therapy services for people with ADHD are no exception. But how do these therapy services work?
Occupational Therapy Through Telemedicine
Occupational therapy (OT) helps individuals with ADHD conduct their daily activities efficiently and effectively. Occupational therapists use different strategies to support patients in fulfilling their physical, social, and psychological functioning.
Occupational therapists are known for their creativity and resourcefulness. So, there is no doubt telemedicine can be maximized as a platform for OT. Furthermore, those who avail of this service can explore and use what is most effective for them.
OT can be conducted online through live video conferencing using different platforms. Patients directly interact with their therapists through these platforms. In some cases, such as with little kids with ADHD, a parent or guardian will be present in the therapy session. With parent coaching, an adult will implement the activities planned by the therapist while receiving direct feedback.
OT For ADHD
The main goal of OT is to develop skills you need in everyday life. And OT for ADHD can come in different forms, depending on the areas that the patient is struggling with. With this in mind, a therapist will design programs and activities that address the following:
People with ADHD have a harder time obtaining and understanding information from their surroundings. They can get distracted easily by bright colors and loud sounds. Some move around and fidget a lot. An occupational therapist can design a sensory regulation program to manage these senses. They’ll even structure it into fun and engaging obstacle courses for parents to try on their kids.
Focus, Attention, Impulsivity, Frustration Tolerance, and Following Instructions
Being able to focus, wait, and follow instructions are essential foundation skills for higher learning. When a person gets easily distracted or cannot remain still, these work behaviors will affect their participation in daily tasks. Several techniques help target these difficulties—from modifying the environment to managing behavior.
Self-Monitoring and Cognitive Skills
As we grow older, tasks become more complex and challenging. We need to develop skills like controlling emotions, initiating and completing tasks, prioritizing and organizing time for work, and more. OT can help teach skills and strategies to control and monitor behavior. For example, occupational therapists can help people with ADHD make their schedules and priority lists.
Because they lack focus, some people with ADHD may have deficits in some motor skills. How could they get better in writing or in feeding themselves if they can’t sit still? An occupational therapist will teach patients to do these tasks effectively.
We use our social skills to communicate and interact with other people around us. However, people with ADHD may find it hard to pay attention to others. It may be more difficult as well because of the virtual distance in telehealth. Luckily, occupational therapists can find opportunities to improve social skills through online group therapy sessions and social skills training.
An occupational therapist may also make recommendations for your tasks and activities. For example, they may coordinate with your school to adapt activities for a child or teen with ADHD.
Modifications in the environment can also be beneficial for people with ADHD. Many OT techniques focus on minimizing distractions and keeping the home organized. Checklists and routines are helpful as well for anyone having difficulty with planning and organizing. These can be monitored by your therapist remotely.
The Final Verdict
Every kind of therapy has its pros and cons. Telehealth may require the need for a suitable gadget and reliable internet connection. But why do families and people with ADHD still prefer telehealth? The following are just some reasons why:
- Telehealth allows for social distancing in the time of a pandemic.
- Sessions can be more convenient and comfortable at home.
- Real-life situations can be managed in the home setting.
- Parents become more involved during the session.
- Other people may interact better over a screen, such as teens or young adults.
- It can cut travel time and expenses and may lead to a more consistent follow-through.
No ADHD case is the same. Each person will experience a different set of difficulties and challenges. And so, an individualized therapy program with a multi-modal approach is helpful for anyone struggling with ADHD.
Meanwhile, times like this call for innovative ways to make therapy more accessible and efficient for anyone who needs help and rehabilitation. Studies supporting the effectiveness of teletherapy for ADHD continue to grow through the years. And through teletherapy, different methods of therapy, like OT, can be utilized and accessed more easily by more people.