Before your appointment:

Please set up your device (computer, phone or tablet)
Use the instructions on your meeting invitation and download the free app(s) needed for your appointment. Installing and activating these apps may take some time, so have them ready in advance. Some examples of apps used by service providers are Zoom for Healthcare, Microsoft Teams and Blue Jeans.

If using a phone or tablet, use headphones if possible
Headphones reduce background noise and allow the service provider to hear you better. If your child/youth is not comfortable wearing headphones or you need one but don’t have one, please speak to your service provider for assistance.

Make sure your device is charged
Have a charging cord ready in case your battery runs low. If possible, plan your virtual appointment close to an electrical outlet in case you need to recharge your device during your session. Also, clear off any additional apps that may be running in the background as this can drain your battery.

Check the strength of your Wi-Fi connection
Walls and furniture will affect the strength of your Wi-Fi signal and a weak signal can result in a frozen screen, poor audio quality or even disconnection. Check your Wi-Fi strength by looking at your device while in the room you plan to use for your session. The Wi-Fi signal strength icon can be found on the top right hand side of most devices. This image shows Wi-Fi signal strength from strongest to weakest.

To increase the strength of your Wi-Fi signal in a room with poor signal strength, you could contact your internet service provider as some offer a free booster.

Plan your location and position of your device
Here are a few things to consider for the location of your virtual appointment.

  • What size room would work best?
  • Do you need a larger room for physical activities like jumping, rolling, dancing, etc.?
  • Do you need a smaller space that works for tabletop activities?
  • What distractions are there in the room, can they be covered or easily moved (e.g. TV, radio, toys, technology)?
  • Is there a window, is that helpful or distracting?
  • Does your child/youth get distracted by things moving outside, do you have curtains or blinds?
  • Does my child/youth feel comfortable in that space? If that answer is no, then you will likely need to consider another space or think of ways to make that space more comfortable for them.
  • What items will help your child/youth feel calm that can be included in that space (e.g. bean bag chair, sensory toys, etc.)?
Place your device where the service provider can see your child/youth’s face, your face and any learning materials or toys that you will be working with. For the best view of your child, we recommend that you place your device at least 3 ft. away where you will be playing or working.

This allows your service provider to:
  • See and hear your child/youth’s reaction or answers to questions/comments.
  • See if your child is showing any signs of anxiety or frustration.
  • See if their instructions are clearly understood.
  • Follow your child/youth’s lead if they begin to show interest in another toy/material.
  • Develop a personal relationship and rapport with you and your child/youth.
If you are planning to use a table and chair to sit at during the session:
  • Make sure your child/youth can easily reach the top of the table to independently reach the items or activities that you are working with.
  • Consider using a booster and foot stool if necessary. Often when children/youth have supportive seating it allows them to feel more comfortable and assists in keeping their focus on the task at hand.
  • Consider having your child/youth facing towards a wall to limit distractions if you are unable to close the door to the room you have chosen for your session.
If you don’t think working at a table is best, consider using a small room with a closed door. You and your child/youth can sit and work together on the floor. Do what works best!

Don’t be afraid to talk to your service provider if you have any concerns about your ability to participate in activities. Let your service provider know if you have any physical limitations or concerns that may affect your ability to participate in the session

Toys and learning materials
The session may include a variety of activities, games and toys to help your child/youth develop their skills and work towards their goals. You may be asked to bring out a few of your child/youth’s favourite things. If you do not have access to the materials, please speak to your service provider in advance as you are NOT expected to buy additional items for these sessions.

These items may include:
  • A favourite book
  • Puzzles, building toys, Lego
  • Small pretend toys (e.g. baby, stuffed animal, cars)
  • Writing tools (e.g. paper, markers, crayons, pencils)
These materials will be specific to each individual based on their age and the skills being worked on. Feel free to reach out to your team should you have any questions about what to prepare. If your child/youth has any particular item that they find very hard to move from, it may be best to not have it in sight during the session.