Telehealth for children

At Early Start Australia, we understand that getting to appointments in person can be difficult at times. Our therapists are trained to deliver telehealth for children in a way that is creative, responsible, and flexible. Whether you need a one-off appointment or ongoing therapy and support, our telehealth for children ensures your kids are safe and healthy

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What is telehealth?

Telehealth is a convenient way to deliver effective evidence-based allied health therapy services without the need to travel. Whether you need a telehealth appointment with a speech language pathologist, occupational therapist, physio or psychologist, telehealth for children ensures you can still receive this service over the internet (through a live video connection) or over the phone.

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What are the benefits of telehealth for children compared to a face-to-face appointment?

Allied health services are considered essential services and telehealth can ensure ongoing therapy to best meet the needs of your child and family.

Our telehealth services are outcomes-based, and your therapist will work with you to ensure that you are still making progress on your goals and achieving the outcomes that you are working towards.

There are several important benefits to telehealth consultations including:

  • Eliminating health and safety risks such as exposure to COVID-19
  • Avoiding cancellation fees and supporting the continuation of therapy service support when you or your child, another family member, or one of our therapists has a minor health condition (e.g. runny nose) or has another barrier to making a clinic appointment (e.g. difficulties with babysitting for siblings, or transport)
  • Providing a convenient alternative to face-to-face therapy
  • Eliminating travel times and costs, allowing more time for you and your family
  • Providing services in your home or other environments (e.g. at school) with familiar surroundings, toys and routines. Children may be more willing to talk or open up if they are in a place they feel comfortable

How does telehealth for children work?

Telehealth services are very similar to what your child receives in a face-to-face session; it is just done using a computer or mobile device. Instead of being in the same room as the therapist, the face-to-face appointment is virtual; using digital technology (e.g. video conferencing) or over the phone.

If you’ve ever used Teams or Skype on your computer or FaceTime on your iPhone, you’ve already used a similar type of technology! A session will run for as long as a face-to-face session and you will be guided by a therapist the entire time.

ESA’s telehealth services are secure and confidential. Your child’s therapy is our number one priority and will not be any less by using telehealth.

Service delivery varies between clinics so check with your local clinic about their services.

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What equipment and space is needed?

Depending on the age of your child and the therapy that is required, you will need:

  • A quiet and private space with no distractions
  • An adult to support your child with activities (if needed)
  • A device (smartphone, computer, laptop) with audio and camera, and access to a good internet connection

Contact one of our clinics to book a telehealth appointment today.

Telehealth is funded through NDIS, Medicare and some private health funds during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check with your specific private health fund, if this applies to you, as rebates may change at different times.

How to get the most out of your telehealth appointment

  • Set up your equipment 15 minutes beforehand to ensure everything is ready to go when your appointment starts
  • Get any relevant information you might need ready prior to your appointment. This could include past reports or medical documentation
  • Discuss the telehealth appointment with your child so they know what to expect. For younger children, explain to them the process of telehealth consultations and ask them if they have any questions. For older children, you may want to ask if they’d like you to stay with them during the consultation
  • Discuss with the therapist what you would like to get out of the telehealth appointment at the beginning so you can all move towards a common goal
  • Ask for help if there’s something you don’t understand or need further clarification on
  • Take notes if you like to, and feel free to ask the clinician to pause for a moment while you catch up
  • Ensure there is a plan of action for after the appointment, and whether you will require a follow up appointment
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Frequently asked questions

Early Start Australia provides one-on-one Speech Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Psychology through our telehealth for children.

Any age is appropriate. We will personalise our services based on your family and your child’s needs.

You will need a reliable internet connection and personal computer or mobile device with audio and video capabilities. An advantage of telehealth sessions is that they are held in the comfort and safety of your own home. Our therapists can use the toys and resources you already have at home to complete each session.

Ideally you should use a desktop or a laptop.  Tablets or phones will work but it may be more difficult to set those up.  You will need a webcam and speakers (usually built into your computer). Headphones are optional.  

A high speed internet connection is best.  Try and have only the teletherapy session running on the computer and close out any other browser tabs or apps. During the teletherapy session, please refrain from heavy internet use (i.e. video streaming) by other people in your household.   

Yes, we use simple software that is compatible with most computers and mobile devices that run on either Windows, iOS, macOS and Android operating systems. You can use an iPad, iPhone, or any other brand of tablet/smart device with audio and video capabilities. Our therapists will guide you through the entire process and provide you with simple instructions to help you get started. 

If possible, try to find a quiet place with minimal to no distractions.  Have a simple background behind your child such as a plain wall.  Avoid sitting your child with their back to the window because the bright light will make it hard to see your child. Test the video camera angle out so you can see if the camera is showing your child clearly. 

For tabletop activities it helps if your child is sitting upright with their feet on the floor and the desk around elbow height. 

You will receive an email with the information for the time and how to join the telehealth session

Yes, we will need your help to guide your child and direct their attention to the computer screen or activity that is provided.  There will be a learning curve for everyone at first, so it is helpful to have you present to troubleshoot any issues that arise to make the session productive.  

Yes, we will need your help to guide your child and direct their attention to the computer screen or activity that is provided.  There will be a learning curve for everyone at first, so it is helpful to have you present to troubleshoot any issues that arise to make the session productive.  

We may send a list of materials that you should have around your house (ie paper, pencil, blocks etc) prior to the session.  You may receive an email with materials that you can print also. 
 
If your child has a favourite toy or activity at home, then it would be helpful to have that close by so we can use it in the session.  Please have those materials ready before the session starts so we can get right to work.  

When working with children things don’t always go as planned and the same is true of telehealth for children.  There are many things that may occur such as poor connection, video lags, lack of interest in the activity, distractions, and so on.  We can troubleshoot to determine how to improve the session or change things up for the next session. Together we can help your child succeed and reach their goals.

You will most likely be provided with carry over activities or suggestions for your child to do until the next session.  It may be suggestions to help throughout your daily routine or a specific home exercise program.  We will work collaboratively to determine what is best for you and your family at this time.

Please contact the most suitable  clinic  to discuss payment options, including fitting this into your child’s NDIS plan.

Yes, our telehealth services can be funded under your current NDIS plan.

Yes, we are currently working on this service for families.

We offer telehealth to both existing and new families/clients. No referral is needed to request an appointment for our services.

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We have clinics in every state and territory providing assessments, early childhood intervention therapies, and support to help you thrive.

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The Early Start Australia promise

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Holistic care and treatment plans

Our multi-disciplinary team works together with you to understand your child’s needs. From there, we’ll develop a plan with evidence-based strategies. Work with us to achieve your goals and enjoy a better quality of life.

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Australia-wide reach

With clinics in every state and territory, and an experienced team of therapists. Find help when you need it, where you need it.

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Registered NDIS provider

We are a registered NDIS provider and are here to help you on your NDIS journey. We provide quality and safe services, follow NDIS requirements, and support your needs and goals.

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Early intervention at all stages

Early intervention is not just for young children. We offer therapies that cater to all ages, needs and abilities, and we know the sooner you start your therapy journey, the better your outcomes. With us, you can learn new skills and enjoy more freedom and control in your life.

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