Misconceptions and Misunderstandings
Since teletherapy (online therapy) is relatively new and unfamiliar, many misconceptions and misunderstandings need to be laid to rest. It is evident from the growing number of satisfied school administrators across the country, that once this when this confusion is resolved, many others will happily embrace it as well.
What are those concerns?
Are you Frightened of Something New?
Some are afraid of teletherapy just because it is new. While it’s human nature to be suspect of anything new, at the same time, teletherapy is not as new as it may seem. The online venue is new, but the therapy is delivered by clinicians who are ASHA certified professionals, following the same standards and utilizing the same techniques as those who provide therapy on site.
How Long Will it Take to Adapt?
Others feel that it probably takes children a long time to adapt. But that’s not so. We live in a world increasingly being defined by the computer and online interactions. And while this is true for the adult world, for children it is even more so. They are born into it! Since this is their “MO,” they adapt quickly to the online medium of teletherapy.
What About Licensing, Certifications, and Regulations?
Some school administrators may believe that the quality of the therapy is comparable but that they won’t be able to use it because of issues either state licensing, certification or regulations. But this is not true either. Clinicians delivering therapy online are fully licensed and certified, and there is compliance with all state regulations.
Can You Evaluate Online?
Some think is impossible to give evaluations for speech therapy or occupational therapy online. But they are mistaken. Virtually the same assessments given on site can be provided online as well. Many of the commonly-used SLP assessments are available in digital version. Even OTs can conduct their evaluations online as well.
What About IEP Meetings and Case Management?
Some are concerned that the therapist’s remote location precludes participation in IEP meetings. Not so, just like the therapy that can be delivered online, so too IEP Meetings can be attended via video conference. What’s more, case management follows essentially the same protocol as on site therapy and can be handled for each therapy. This similarity means that SLPs can do case management for speech-only students.
Different Therapists For Each Student?
Some think teletherapy means that the student won’t meet consistently with the same therapist. Nothing could be further from the truth. Once a clinician is assigned, that therapist remains with that student barring an unexpected leave by the therapist which is no more common than with an on site therapist.
Teletherapy is An Advantage Regarding Consistency
Teletherapy provides an advantage over on site regarding consistency. When the therapist cannot continue with the student, a school offering on site therapy would need to scramble to fill the gap, if it could at all. Not so with teletherapy, the online agency can quickly fill the gap with another qualified, credentialed and licensed therapist.
But the Commitment is Overwhelming
Some schools think that with teletherapy they are biting off more than they can chew. They believe that the commitment to teletherapy will be overwhelming. But the reality is that the school can use teletherapy for as little or as much as the school needs.
The Facts Please, Just the Facts
So you can see how a little bit of light can dispel a whole lot of darkness. Teletherapy is not riddled with the problems that many believe to be true. In fact, when you consider the many benefits that teletherapy provides, it certainly behooves every school administrator to give teletherapy meticulous consideration.