At first I was skeptical and didn’t know what to think about transitioning our building to teletherapy for speech services, but I was pretty reluctant about it. Up until that point (approximately 2 years ago), we have always had “in person” speech and other related services. However, once our speech assistant, the students, and I all became acclimated to–and comfortable with–the online platform, the program took off! And it is clear that the students love it! They have a great time when attending speech class!
All of the speech pathologists that I have worked with at CHAT have been nothing but positive, professional, hardworking, and well-educated in current best practices in the fields of speech and language pathology and special education. I do not believe that the transition to teletherapy would have been beneficial or effective with anyone but CHAT.
Some of the positives that I have observed since working with CHAT via teletherapy include: ease of collaboration and consultation (our SLP is always “just a click away”), increased flexibility with implementation of RTI/MTSS, increased flexibility with regard to group/therapy size, increased opportunity to engage with students in a variety of multimedia formats (e.g., interactive programs via the online platform), and a renewed sense of excitement among students when it is time to go to speech class! The only negative that I have encountered is the fact that I can’t be at all sessions taking place throughout the school day–I genuinely wish I could attend them all!
Finally, although the leadership at Jackson has always preferred an “in person” SLP over teletherapy, the tables have turned. It wouldn’t matter if 100 SLPs applied to work “in person” at Jackson today because it is so much more beneficial to have a CHAT SLP continuing to service our students via teletherapy than it is to have an SLP from elsewhere work with our students “in person.” Thank you, CHAT!
Emily A. Wallen B.A., M.A.T.
Director of Special Education
Jackson Charter School