Teletherapy 101: What you need to know to get started!

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June 22, 2020

Written by: Jaimi Bird, M.A., CCC-SLP

What is teletherapy and will it work for my child?  Can I keep my child from falling behind even though schools and clinics are not open right now?

Enrichment Therapy and Learning Center is providing teletherapy.  Since the beginning of this pandemic, Enrichment TLC has made it our focus to continue to serve children and families.  We are committed to providing the same high-quality, individualized speech therapy and education programs via online video connection, as we have always provided in-person. 

What is teletherapy?

Teletherapy refers to therapy that is provided by a licensed and certified therapist via a secure video connection. Modern-day technology can now connect clinicians with clients no matter the distance or situation.    At Enrichment TLC we are providing one-on-one speech therapy sessions for children of all ages.  We also offer reading and math skill building tele-sessions for groups or individuals. 

How do online therapy and tutoring sessions work?

During tele-sessions the speech-language pathologist (SLP) or instructor will send the client an internet meeting link.  At the time of the session, both parties will log on using the secure link and “meet” in an online room.  The child and clinician can see each other in real-time and interact (almost) like in-person!  

The SLP or instructor will “share” their computer screen.  This means that the child will see the activity that has been prepared specifically for him on their own device screen. Activities provided during sessions are very similar to face to face sessions except many different software tools are used to present the material. Often, the child can be given the ability to control the activity by using their touch-screen or mouse.    

Will teletherapy be a good fit for my child?

We have found that most kids do very well with teletherapy! We are living in the technology-age and using a device is second nature for most kids— they are naturals!  If a child can receive services in a clinic setting, he should be able to benefit from teletherapy.  Our providers have so many wonderful learning materials that are fun and feel like games, that most children are engaged and participate very well.  We recommend that parents or caregivers stay close by to observe, or even participate in the session.  Every child learns differently and for some kids having someone sitting with them and participating in the session is very important, other kids are quite independent and do not require direct caregiver interaction during the session. Those children who are very young, those who struggle to maintain attention, and those with special learning needs do their best when they have adult support during tele-sessions. Teletherapy also provides a wonderful opportunity to utilize a parent coaching model in which the therapist can coach the parent on activities they can do with their child at home.  

Will my child continue to make progress toward their goals?

Yes!  Children who need speech-language therapy or academic support must get the services that they need to be successful!   Waiting to begin therapy is never recommended if you believe that your child needs extra support to do their best.  Telepractice was approved by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) as an appropriate method of service delivery in 2005. ASHA states, “Telepractice is an appropriate model of service delivery for speech-language pathologists.”  

If you would like more information on beginning teletherapy for your child, call us at Enrichment Therapy and Learning Center.  We are happy to help!

Jaimi Bird is a Speech Language Pathologist at Enrichment Therapy and Learning Center.  ETLC has locations in the Iowa City, IA area and Des Moines, IA area.  We provide individual speech language therapy and tutoring as well as offering a unique group Language Enrichment Academic Program (LEAP).  At Enrichment Therapy and Learning Center our passion is to help kids achieve effective communication skills and gain academic success.  Contact us for more information on how we can help your child succeed. 

info@enrichmenttherapies.com

1210 Jordan Street, Suite 2A
North Liberty, IA 52317
319-626-2553

2570 106th Street, Suite E
Urbandale, IA 50322
515-419-4270

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