Fairstart Early Intervention has extended and adapted our services to now be providing online video therapy (also known as Telehealth) in response to COVID-19. This has supported continued access to services by our local families.
We now have a range of Telehealth services available to provide continued allied health support depending on the needs and availability of the families we work with.
We now have a variety of options available for our preschool and primary school aged clients to ensure that we can switch to an online session if you are unable to attend a session in person. These include video conferencing for therapy or parent training, telephone conferencing and home programs.
Telehealth FAQs for Families
What is Telehealth?
This is where health and therapy services are provided online through a video or voice call to support our families. We are now offering this service to our local clients in response to COVID-19.
When should I use Telehealth?
You can switch to a Telehealth session if you are in self-isolation from COVID-19 or are physically unable to come to our centre.
Telehealth will enable us to provide your child with on-going and consistent therapy from your speech pathologist, occupational therapist, specialist teacher or therapy assistant.
I speak Vietnamese or Chinese and I am not confident to organise the appointment, set up the technology or talk to the therapist in English. Can my child still access Telehealth?
Yes, Fairstart has bilingual staff who speak your language and can assist you with arranging an appointment and translating using video or telephone conferencing. Call us on 9725 0114 or the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) on 131450 to let your team member know that you require language support.
What do I need for an online session?
- A laptop/ tablet/mobile phone or computer with a camera and microphone
- Internet connection
- Email address
- Headphones (optional)
How can I pay for Telehealth?
You can pay for Telehealth as part of your NDIS plan. You can also pay for Telehealth with Medicare if your doctor has signed a CDMP or other Medicare plan.
How does Telehealth work?
Call us on 9725 0114 to make a telehealth video call appointment. We will email you a ‘Zoom’ link and code for your appointed time. Click on the link and follow the prompts to join the video call.
Will I need to download any software or apps?
You will be prompted to download, sign up and install Zoom when you click a joining link.
Is Telehealth as good as a face-to-face session?
Fairstart staff will try to provide intervention in much the same way you currently receive it in person, although the dynamic is slightly different. There are many benefits of Telehealth. Your online therapy session will be interactive in your own home space so we can even go mobile to explore the toys and books and the things that your child loves, and we can come up with new ways to use them in therapy. We have also produced Telehealth packs and home programs with activities for our pre-school age and primary clients.
What will the sessions be like?
Younger children or children who have short attention spans will need a parent to be present to support them with activities during the session. For all children, sessions will also focus on parent-based education and consultation, and you will be coached as the parent to use items you own around the home to deliver therapy to your child. Programs such as Hanen More Than Words can be delivered using this way to.
If your child is school aged, therapy may involve sharing of books, reading texts, tracing, drawing pictures, figures and writing. We can also screen share resources that we are using during the session. Many of our usual activities and tasks can be adapted for telehealth. If required, you will receive a packet with printable resources. If you do not have access to a printer please let us know as soon as possible and we can provided paper based resources.
Individuals with vision, hearing, attention, physical difficulties with sitting or understanding remote therapy may need modifications or additional support. If you are unsure, discuss with your Fairstart team member
Do I need to do anything to change the environment at home?
For upper primary to adult clients, online therapy can happen easily with your device on a table in front of you.
For younger children, it is ideal to have some floor space nearby so we can jump around and do some big actions.
Some handy tips for the best video call experience are:
Find a quiet space - the area should be free from distractions
Be on time - connect 5 minutes earlier than your appointed time
Check your device volume - make sure your volume is on and audible.