Real World Struggles in a Virtual World
How to Seek Help for Children Who Are Struggling During Covid
By: Theraplay Family of Companies
As COVID continues, we are seeing more and more challenges for kids of all ages. For younger children, an increase in delayed language development is being seen, along with difficulty learning or reading social cues. There are increased behavior issues presenting along with regressed or delayed potty training. In addition, children simply are not as active, and coordination imperative to development is declining. The social effect of the pandemic is heavily affecting middle school-aged children, as their interaction with others has declined during the age when peer groups are typically established. The hybrid and virtual school models have presented challenges for skills such as attention, organization, transitioning, and task/self-monitoring. While these can be developmental in nature, there are many contributing factors that can be addressed with therapy.
As businesses shut down last spring, the Theraplay Family of Companies was able to quickly pivot to a virtual model to continue delivering critical therapy services. "In addition to keeping children safe from Covid, we want to ensure their social, emotional and developmental health is being addressed," says Laurie Watkin, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "That is why it is so important to us to be available to our patients, families and community partners however we can."
Since their beginning, the Theraplay Family of Companies has worked to educate the communities they serve, to enable all children to maximize their potential. Now, they are working even more closely with healthcare professionals, caregivers and daycare, preschool, elementary and high school teachers, offering their educational activities virtually and free of charge, while expanding these much-needed services.
Ranging from webinars on ADHD, parenting during the pandemic, and feeding and sleep challenges, to Facebook Live events with local pediatricians and nutrition experts, to yoga classes led by physical therapists and story time with speech-language pathologists, the family of companies has been offering as much support as they can to those in their community. For some patients, getting to see their favorite therapist read them a story is a way to connect with the pre-virtual world. Parents can log onto a webinar and interact with their child's therapist, and physicians can continue to learn about the services that each company offers, and how collaboration helps their patients.
While outpatient centers have reopened, the Theraplay Family of Companies has continued to advocate for teletherapy at the state level, recognizing that some children are able to come in-person for therapy, but that those who cannot still need services. Heading into winter, where people need to be indoors more and the risk of transmission is higher, it is more important than ever to continue to provide not only therapeutic services but to offer the community support, education and expertise.
About the Theraplay Family of Companies
Theraplay, Inc. was founded in 1991. Believing that children learn and develop best through play experiences, Theraplay offers individualized therapy services in a play-focused environment, improving the lives of thousands of children and their families. In 2016, Austill's Educational Therapy Services joined the Theraplay family of companies, followed by Positive Steps Therapy, AOT, Inc., The Children's Therapy Center and Fleming Therapy Services, bringing therapy to children and adolescents in 4 states, with 32 outpatient locations and through school, home and early intervention-
For more information visit theraplayinc.com, or to see a complete library of offerings visit Theraplay's YouTube page at: https://www.youtube.com/