COVID-19: What to Know

NOTE: We're working on posting links to all of the resources mentioned below. Thanks for your patience! 

 

Dear Valley Medical Center Children’s Therapy Families,

We hope that you are staying safe and taking care during this difficult time. We miss seeing our patients and families in the clinic and look forward to seeing you again when it’s safe for us to reopen fully. 

We would like to share our plans with you, as well as resources that we have gathered to support you while therapy isn’t in session.  

Attached is Children's Therapy, Patient Visitor Advisory during Covid-19 response. Please read on how we are taking extra steps to protect our staff, patient and community. 

Children’s Therapy Plans 

May 1st  Update:

Starting May 4th, we will be returning to seeing patients and families during your normally scheduled time, either at the clinic in person or over video teletherapy. Doing as many sessions over teletherapy as possible will leave space in the clinic for those families who cannot do teletherapy to still responsibly social distance. Automated phone calls with more information about this went out on April 29th to the primary phone number listed for each family with a Children’s Therapy appointment scheduled through May. If you will not be able to keep your normally scheduled time, please call the front desk to discuss schedules.

If both family and therapist agree it is appropriate and safe, we will be open to seeing you and your child in person in our clinic beginning May 4th. We have several new procedures in place to keep therapists and families safe while in the clinic which are explained in the clinic social story (add link) and return to clinic guidelines (link). This can help you decide if your child will be able to tolerate our new procedures. Please bring your own mask for you and your child. We have limited masks we will be able to give out at the clinic if necessary. If we give you a cloth mask, please wash and re-use it for your next session.

We are also set up for video teletherapy over zoom. This will also be at your normal time if possible. We need to make sure you and your child has a MyChart set up in order to get the appointment invitation sent. If you do not have MyChart set up, download the proxy form, fill it out, and return it to us. You can give us a call at 425-690-3513 and we can help set it up.

To access the proxy form please click on this link. Once you have filled out the formed and signed it, please fax to (425) 690-9513 or mail it to 3600 Lind Ave SW, Suite 160 Renton, WA 98057. You may also drop off the form. If you have any questions please contact the clinic at (425) 690-3513.

If you do not want to receive therapy over video or in person, or neither option is safe or appropriate for your child, we may put you back on the waiting list to wait for a time when you are able to use one of these options. We are happy to work with families on accommodations to make sure we choose the right option and are able to support your family in the best way possible. For some families, this may be a good time for a break from therapy. We look forward to welcoming back as many families as we can in the next few weeks!

We are posting links to resources on our webpage weekly- check out a COVID social story, handwashing visual, and visual schedule on our Links of the Week page.

Email Barbara Bryant with general ideas for content you would like to see in upcoming newsletters. Specific questions about your child’s therapy or specific needs should be funneled through their therapist

Resources on health, mental health, and self-care for parents  

Public Health Seattle & King County COVID-19 information page (available in many languages) 

King County Crisis Connections: available for crisis support 24/7 by phone at (866) 427-4747, and on the web at crisisconnections.org.

Self-care for parents: Make sure to take care of yourself, and find some tips here

Facts for Kids: Here is a document helping kids understand how they can protect themselves against COVID-19, click here.  

Discussing COVID-19: A resource to help navigate discussion around COVID-19, please click here.

Livestream Series on "Parenting Through COVID-19" : Information on a new livestream series for parents, focusing on coping strategies and emotional regulation to help parents. To get more information please click here.

Tips for Families: This website has tips on home activities, self-care and how to stay connected, for more information click here. 

 Washington State Department of Health: Here are recommendations on pregnancy, birth, and caring for your baby with suspected or confirmed Covid-19. Also this information is available in Spanish.  

UW Center for Philosophy: The center is offering free materials to have families talk about the questions and emotions that are surfacing, as children experience Covid-19 and quarantine. For more information click here.

Home Activities

 

Read a picture book together – without reading the words! Read a book and tell the story by describing what you see in the pictures instead of reading the words. Pause frequently to let your child look at, point to, or talk about pictures. For children who are using few to no words, use the sentence “I see ….” to describe what you see, like “I see a big yellow fish!” For children who are speaking in sentences, ask questions about the story, such as “What do you think the bear is going to do next?” This activity is called “dialogic reading” because it helps your child to engage in a dialogue, and it’s a favorite activity for many teachers and speech therapists. If you don’t have books at home, use a phone or tablet to check out free e-books at PBSkids.org.

Practice social skills using family playtime or digital communication. Games like tag, chase, tickles, peek-boo, and “flying through the air” are all social games that can be used to promote your young child’s social communication skills. Consider using the R.O.C.K. strategy included in this handout.

For older children, have your child stay in contact with family members or friends from school to share their personal experiences at home. Have your child generate a list of questions to ask their friend or family member to learn about what they are doing to stay busy at home.  Additionally, have scheduled mealtimes together and practice sharing the highs or lows of your day. 

Create your own sensory bin.  Sensory bins are a great activity for the development of various senses, as well as imaginative play skills! If your child likes to touch everything or shows some avoidance to different textures, sensory bins can be a great way to support tactile exploration and fulfill your child’s sensory needs. For more information and tips on how to build your own sensory bin(s), check out this site for details.

Enjoy some family exercise time together.  Running, jumping, climbing, and crashing can be difficult and often dangerous for kids while stuck inside the house, but movement and physical play is essential for development and regulation.  There are limitless opportunities for kids (small and big) to get the movement they need in a safe way while indoors. Some ideas include: 

 

  • Make an obstacle course in the living or bedroom using furniture, pillows, blankets, and toys
  • Make a scavenger hunt to look for items around the home or play hide-and-seek
  • Play classic favorites like “Simon Says,” “Head Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” and “Hokey Pokey.”
  • Sign up for a free account at Go Noodle for hours of video-guided physical activities for kids of all ages.

 

For more fun physical indoor play ideas, look at these links: indoor gross motor activities and ways to keep kids active indoors. 

Practice ways to ease feelings of stress and build self-awareness.  The recent events regarding COVID-19 have added feelings of stress and uncertainty to all of our lives, and impact our children as well. Practicing healthy and safe methods to relieve stress together can benefit the emotional, cognitive, and physical well-being of your entire family. Activities such as animal pose yoga can be done along with your children.  For instance, standing on one leg can become “flamingo”.  Try counting together and holding the pose for 10 sections.  This is a short kid-friendly video about yoga poses: or check out more kid-friendly poses at Kids Yoga Stories or Preschool Inspirations. Mindfulness practice can also support self-awareness and provide structured breaks for people of all ages.  Mindfulschools.org is offering free online mindfulness videos (live and on-demand) to support guided practice. 

The Pacific Science Center: They have launched "Curiosity at Home", to engage kids who are home. Curiosity doesn't stop and now you can participate in live science experiments and create your own experiments by following their videos. For more science at home activities check out their website by clicking here.

Speech/Feeding Therapy Websites and Resources

Beginning with Babble: Beginning with Babble is a free app, available for Android or iPhone, that parents of children age 0-5 can download to receive daily tips on helping their child develop language.  

Hanen Center Parent Tips: The Hanen Center has a website with tips for parents of children who communicate without words, children who have just started talking, and children who talk in sentences. 

Speech sound worksheets: For children who are working on specific speech sounds in therapy, a large collection of words are available here. 

Advanced language goals: For children working on more advanced language skills, check out some learning websites, such as Khan Academy, Starfall, and Time for Kids.

Mealtime Madness: To help avoid meltdowns at mealtime, create a schedule as a visual reference for both parents and children. This helps increase predictability while decreasing fear of the unknown. Increase participation and responsibility of your children at mealtime by encouraging them to be involved in mealtime preparation, exploring and discovering new foods, as well as cleaning up the foods after the meal. Limiting distractions, such as screens at the table, helps to promote socialization and avoids poor mealtime habits, such as overeating. For more information on how to promote healthy mealtime behaviors, see the full handout from The American Occupational Therapy Association.

Reading with Your Child: In this document Children's Therapy gives you specific book recommendations to promote your child's language and literacy to elementary. For more information click here.

 It’s More than the Words on the Page!  Kristina and Amy are speech-language pathologists here at Children's Therapy. In this video they show you techniques for getting the most out of reading to your child. Their reading tips will help improve language development, from infant to later elementary ages.

Reading with your Child For more information  click this link!

Does Language Development Through Masking: Children's Therapy has strategies to help continue your child's early speech/language development. For more information click here.

 

Occupational Therapy Websites and Resources

OT Plan: The OT Plan is a website full of developmental activities, parent resources, and therapy related products available to support your child at home! It provides a simple search engine feature that helps parents find OT activity ideas organized by specific developmental skills and/or by the materials available in your home! 

The Best Ideas For Kids: An online community resource for sharing fun developmental activities while at home. Plenty of ideas for craft projects to work on fine motor skills, kid-friendly cooking recipes self-care independence, and information for parents about favorite tools like apps and educational resources. Visit and explore here. 

The OT Toolbox: Find resources, tools, ideas, and activities geared toward the healthy development of kids; from functioning self-care skills like dressing or potty-training, fine motor skills and handwriting, sensory processing, and executive processing skills like attention and self-regulation. Based on function and occupation-centered activities, the ideas shared on this site promote the underlying skills needed for action and performance in kids. Visit and explore here. 

Busy Toddler: This website has many ideas on different play activities for all ages. If you want to play inside or outside there are lists of activities you can do! Click here for more information!  

Cotton Ball Soccer: Pediatric occupational therapist Alexa Anderson and her boys demonstrate an indoor cotton ball soccer game that builds skills and is a calming activity.

    To try it at home check out the YouTube video!

Physical Therapy Websites and Resources

Keep kids moving indoors:  Try some of these ideas to keep your kids active while out of school, or check out some active videos here. 

 

Recursos en español

¡Ideas para practicar movimientos gruesos y quemar un poco de energía! Sabemos que ahorita los niños están pasando mucho tiempo en casa, y tal vez extrañen su tiempo de recreo.  En estos sitios web, pueden encontrar bastantes ideas para que se mantengan activos y practiquen habilidades como brincar, balance y planeación motriz.  5 actividades para mejorar la motricidad gruesa , actividades de movimiento para ninos con energia , 10 formas de trabjar la motricidad gruesa en los ninos 

Actividades para practicar la lectura y el vocabulario: Visita este sitio web con ideas para apoyar el desarrollo de habilidades de lectura y vocabulario de tu niño/niña, tanto en español como en inglés y para recibir información de como criar un niño/niña bilingüe.

Apoyo para un menor con autismo: Visita estos sitios web con ideas para apoyar un niño/niña con autismo y para conectarte con otros padres de familia que están pasando por experiencias similares: Autismo Diario y la Sociedad de Autismo.