What do Occupational Therapists do in early intervention services…

Hello! My name is Amanda and I am a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) practicing in New Mexico, USA. I work in an early intervention setting which provides services for children from birth to three years of age. COVID-19 has greatly impacted my ability to practice as previously. Early intervention services are typically conducted in the families’ natural environment which is most commonly their home. With the NM Family Infant Toddler Program not allowing in-person visits, all of my visits are now conducted via-telehealth. This has brought on new challenges – attempting to get a child to sit down and interact via a telephone call has proven to be extremely difficult, which means I have to work creatively.

The parents have been very helpful and open to conducting visits over the phone, but a majority of the session is watching the parents chase after their child! Most children cry and become upset when seeing the phone because they relate it to watching videos on Youtube. This has been a learning experience for both myself and the parents. Coaching the parents to work on the various developmental milestones has been the main focus for telehealth. Ensuring the parents are working with their child on age appropriate milestones is essential for the child’s success, especially in this time where there is limited social interaction with peers due to social distancing. I love my job because we are truly focusing on teaching parents how to help their child grow and be the best they can be. 

This blog is part of our ‘What do Occupational Therapists do…’ series to celebrate OT month.

Author: Amanda Jerge 

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