Advanced has always prided itself on having a strong focus on technology as a way to change the healthcare staffing game. Our new Teletherapy platform is no different. But what is teletherapy and how does it work? We sat down with Jennifer Martin, MS CCC-SLP and Director of Teletherapy at Advanced, to get her answers on some of the most common questions about Teletherapy.
How does Teletherapy work?
Advanced’s teletherapists are licensed Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and School Psychologists that work face to face with students using our propriety software, Televate. The platform is HIPPA, FERPA and COPPA compliant, and allows Clinicians to access a library of interactive therapy activities, scheduling calendar, a note taking platform, and progress monitoring tools. Televate is a virtual office and therapy room, which helps keep the therapist organized and the student engaged.
What type of schools would benefit most from Teletherapy?
All schools can benefit from Teletherapy! Some have specific needs that make Teletherapy a great option, including school districts in rural areas where it is hard to find therapists, areas where there are long commutes between schools to serve a small caseload, and large districts that have a hard time finding qualified staff due to the number of schools. Other districts that seek teletherapy typically need short term or mid-year coverage, like a maternity leave. Telthetherapy is not to replace your onsite staff, but to support them. If an onsite therapist has a high caseload, districts can implement teletherapy to support them. This will encourage staff to want to return to the same district year-after-year.
What do schools need to implement a Teletherapy program?
Most schools already have everything necessary to get started with Teletherapy. A basic computer with a webcam, mic and headset is all you need. You’ll also need high-speed internet and an up-to-date web browser. As far as facilitation goes, most schools utilize a special education paraprofessional to help with this, but there are many creative options, such as volunteers and other aides. The Teletherapy facilitators do not need to be credentialed assistants such as a SLP assistant or COTA. Facilitators main responsibilities during the session are to help with technology troubleshooting as well as assisting the child if they need on-site support.
Is online therapy really as good as in-person?
Advanced Teletherapists always prioritize the interaction and relationship between themselves and the student. Typically there is increased student engagement with Teletherapy since kids have grown up with technology and are comfortable with it. The activities are no different than what the therapist would be doing with the student onsite. The key is that the therapist and student can always see each other live onscreen regardless of what activities they are doing.
How do I know the Teletherapist will be a good fit for our student’s needs?
Teletherapists are highly talented professionals who are hand-selected and highly vetted for your district’s and student’s unique needs. Our Teletherapists always familiarize themselves with the specific district’s paperwork and legal requirements, as well as follow the school’s communication expectations in order to have seamless integration into interdisciplinary teams. We have Teletherapists that specialize in a variety of areas, and languages so they can address your student’s specific needs. We also have Teletherapy substitutes on-hand so your students never miss a session.