For those who reject speech therapy telepractice, tell me about your fear? Would more information be helpful? Today’s technology far exceeds the technology of even last year! And when it comes to best practice, when has withholding, denying, or delaying quality services been considered in the best interest of a client? I am in full agreement that direct services via telepractice is not the best choice for all clients – in fact other forms of telepractice should support those people. I am also in full agreement that every measure of care must be adhered to when providing services on-line, just as it is during same location visits.
Technology has evolved so rapidly that the medium of telepractice far exceeds its function of the past. These are some of the Circles of Care that speech therapy telepractice offers to communities:
• Supervision – We have developed software that enables me to supervise an on-line therapy visit between another SLP and a student as well as a session where the SLP and student are in the same room. This has proven to be a valuable way to coach speech language pathologist assistants, without having to drive to the location for each visit.
• Consultation – We connect with our schools on-line to teach the teacher. This has been especially valuable for communities that have excellent speech-language pathology assistants and teachers, but have not been able to recruit SLPs. We support classroom enrichment and special programs for students who are not selected for direct services.
• Building Capacity – Language happens everywhere. How great it is to help grow a language enriched school full of teachers and environments that grow learners! Training seminars are one way to do this in addition to offering access to a bank of relevant strategies. What feels great is incorporating our on-line backpacks into classrooms. The backpacks are loaded with on-line activities that support the curriculum goals.
• Direct Therapy – Schools are excited when they realize that we are in their school every week for their students. We offer specific information to each school so we can work as a team to select the students who would best benefit from regular on-line therapy. The school contact person remains with the students during the sessions and is able to access the virtual practice activities between sessions. These children achieve their goals, while becoming enthusiastic experts in their programming.
• In house Service – Yes we will come to your community to help with assessments, training, therapy programs, meetings, classroom consultation, or whatever the need.
Today’s speech therapy telepractice… the medium through which the service reaches the need. I call that a good day!
I look forward to meeting those of you who will be ASHA 2008 next week in Chicago!!!
If a school district in your area needs Speech-Language Pathologists, please let me know by clicking here.
Marnee Brick, MSc
Speech-Language Pathologist and Director of of Speech Therapy
TinyEYE Therapy Services (Speech Therapy Telepractice)