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Tips to Help Your Child be Successful During a Telehealth Session

January 2021

The coronavirus has changed our world in so many ways. This virus has changed how we socialize, shop, go to work, and how we maintain our health. Healthcare professionals rely more on telehealth versus in-office visits to flatten the curve and reduce the transmission of this dangerous disease. If your child suffers from ADHD, autism, or other psychological disorders, they do not have to miss their sessions because of this imposed social isolation.

If you have already introduced your child to Zoom or FaceTime, they will have an easier time with a telehealth session, but a virtual appointment may still present some difficulties. These are a few tips to help you prepare your child for an upcoming telehealth session with their doctor.

Prepare Ahead for the Telehealth Session

Telehealth sessions are designed for non-life-threatening situations. If your child is experiencing a severe mental health crisis, you will want to contact 9-1-1 or take them to the nearest emergency center. If this is a regularly scheduled appointment with his or her physician, you should be prepared before the session begins. Gather all information you will need during the appointment:

  • A current list of all medications your child is taking

  • A list of all your child's medical conditions, including weight loss or gain, allergies, relevant medical issues, and any previous diagnoses he or she has been given

  • Write down all the questions you have before the session to ensure you remember to ask about all your concerns

Telehealth is a new method of visiting with your physician, and many people get nervous or anxious and often forget to ask about all their concerns. It is a good idea to have your questions written down before the session begins, including any symptoms your child might be displaying that have you worried.

Choose a Good Location for Telehealth Session

When you have a scheduled telehealth session, to ensure its success choose a quiet area without distractions for it to take place. The area should be well lit, and the camera placed at eye-level for your child. If you have pets in your home or other children, make sure they are kept out of the room where the session will occur.

Begin Telehealth Session with an Introduction

If your child is seeing a new pediatrician or therapist, you will want to begin the session with an introduction. Your child should be prepared in advance if they will see a new face, so he or she can prepare mentally for this new person. The medical professional will begin by sharing their name and title, and your child will be encouraged to share theirs as well.

Once the introductions have been made, you will be asked to share a few medical details, and you will then be ready to follow the healthcare professional's instructions.

Know What to do Following Your Telehealth Session

Before you are finished with your child's telehealth session, make sure you understand any given instructions. Having a notepad ready is an excellent idea so that you can write down all the advice and information you've received. You should never be afraid to ask the healthcare professional to explain information if you are unsure of its meaning.

Telehealth Sessions are a New Resource

During these changing times, your child is going through a lot of new experiences. You may have been faced with doing school days at home, restricting your child's time with friends or other family members, and now having to schedule doctor appointments on the computer. Remember, it is normal for your child to feel nervous or scared. Preparing ahead, explaining what will happen, and helping your child feel as comfortable as possible will help you both have a successful session.

ABA Pathways is committed to helping you find a brighter, more straightforward path for your child. If you have concerns or questions, talk to one of our healthcare professionals for any advice you need for your child's social behaviors.

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