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Online Speech Therapy, Online Occupational Therapy,
and Online Behavior & Mental Health Services
How does PresenceLearning online speech therapy, occupational therapy and behavior and mental health services benefit school districts, students and families? Find out from the kids, special education professionals, therapists and parents who have seen the impact for themselves.
When Dr. Alena Zachery-Ross first joined Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System (MHPSAS) as superintendent, 30% of the district’s students were in special education, more than twice the national average. In addition, students did not receive adequate services the previous year. MHPSAS had immediate goals to meet these students’ learning objectives, and increase their achievement, while integrating technology. See how PresenceLearning helped the district meet these targets.
After suffering an aneurism during her freshman year, Irazu had to start from scratch. She had to learn to walk, feed herself and speak all over again. Hear how PresenceLearning helped her regain her speech, or read her guest blog post about how her experience has changed her forever.
Middle school and high school students at Synergy Academies, an award-winning charter school in Los Angeles, are using live, online speech therapy to make progress on their speech-language IEP goals. Sommer Jones, Director of Special Education and Student Services, discusses the impact on her schools and students. She is joined by Irazu, a high school junior, who shares the inspirational story of her recovery from a brain aneurism.
When Murray County Schools in Georgia had trouble finding speech-language pathologists, Allison Oxford, Director of Instructional Support Services, decided to try online speech therapy with PresenceLearning. Learn how PresenceLearning has impacted schools, students and families in this district and has helped students achieve their goals.
Fowler USD had a problem: its location and budget combined with a shortage of qualified speech-language pathologists made it impossible for the district to hire an SLP. To provide services for its students with special needs, Fowler turned to PresenceLearning to deliver speech therapy. Not only were kids and parents delighted with the online services, the district was also able to dismiss half of the students from special education in one year. PresenceLearning is now working with students with more severe needs, including those with apraxia, Down Syndrome, and those who are high on the autism spectrum, some of them speaking their very first words this year.
Director of Special Education Rex Miller was skeptical at first that students would be able to learn speech and language through the computer. After using PresenceLearning for online speech therapy for two years and seeing improvement and excitement in his students, he now says it is “pretty powerful.” The proof is in the district’s data: over 90% of Bonneville students using PresenceLearning have made progress toward their IEP goals.
Highly skilled SLPs are crucial to the success of speech programs in schools and in helping students to achieve their IEP goals. DeSoto County Schools in Florida uses PresenceLearning to deliver high quality speech-language services to middle school students. Two students, an online SLP, and the district’s Assistant ESE Director describe the benefits of online therapy and explain how it works.
James often substituted “sh” for “ch.” James’ SLP Carey quickly noticed that James was able to make a correct “ch” sound in the final position of words, so she paired final “ch” words (e.g. “peach”) to facilitate production of initial “ch” words (e.g. “peach_chocolate”). He caught on quickly to the live online speech therapy sessions and has now mastered this sound along with other sounds in spontaneous speech.
Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) apps like Proloquo2Go help those who cannot speak to communicate using a symbols-based interface. In this clip, Jazmin, a teenager with cerebral palsy, uses this app on her iPad to practice conversing in a Halloween exercise.
Using activities in PresenceLearning, SLPs can create and customize sessions according to age and IEP goals, and to tie into classroom lessons as well. In this series of videos, Bethany, a PresenceLearning SLP, fully uses the platform to help her student, Caleb, work on the “th” sound as well as practice on “sk.”
Here, Bethany uses the Memory activity and fun sound effects to help Caleb get started to work on the “th.”
Continuing work on “th,” Bethany and Caleb play a few rounds of Go Fish, integrating medial “th” words into a simple sentence.
To further reinforce work on “th,” Bethany customized a quiz show activity so Caleb could practice “th” words within sentences. Customizations can include specific sounds, grade level vocabulary words, trivia types of questions (e.g. who or why), antonyms and synonyms, and much more.
While working on “th,” Bethany noticed Caleb stumble on the “sk” sound. Here she seamlessly uses tools on PresenceLearning including a stamp and a whiteboard marker for some impromptu practice on “sk.”
Meet Ben and his SLP, Jennifer. With live online speech therapy from PresenceLearning, Jennifer can conduct 1-to-1 speech therapy sessions with Ben. This video session shows Ben and his SLP, Jennifer, going over a lesson in articulation. Not only are sessions interactive but Jennifer is able to focus on Ben to make sure he says each word correctly.
Hector was very late to develop speech and language skills. In this speech therapy session he is working on noun-is-verbing sentences and increasing his length of utterance.
Delivering occupational therapy online is nearly the same as it is onsite, employing the same clinical judgement, therapy and consultation. Depending on the type of therapy required, schools or families may also need to have common manipulatives such as paper, pencils, Play-doh, coins and balls near the computer to use during therapy sessions. Here, Elizabeth, a PresenceLearning OT, works with two girls on a variety of skills including motor planning, sequencing, letter formation, handwriting, daily living skills and more.
Seven-year-old Nina gets her whole body moving with a dance designed to build motor planning, sequencing and sensory processing skills.
Play-Doh is one of Nina’s favorite things about OT. Here her OT, Elizabeth, has Nina hide pennies in Play-Doh to help strengthen her fingers.
Using a worksheet in PresenceLearning, Elizabeth reviews the steps in making a lowercase “a” with Nina, working on letter formation and mouse manipulation.
11-year-old Noel gets ready for her online OT session with an exercise to strengthen her thumb and ultimately achieve an efficient pencil grasp.
When Noel had trouble keeping numbers lined up while working on math problems, her OT, Elizabeth, showed her how to use graph paper to help with horizontal and vertical alignment.
Making change is a daily life skill. Noel gets some extra practice using different combinations of coins to make change.
Online SLPs and OTs can form strong bonds with their students, even while working hundreds of miles apart. They share successes, frustrations and lighter moments just as a therapist might onsite. In this video, online OT Elizabeth and her student discuss what they accomplished in their session.
In this set of simulated sessions, Sompa, a clinical social worker, demonstrates how online school behavior and mental health services work with with PresenceLearning.
Here, a high achieving student meets with Sompa for the first time for help with her anxiety about taking math tests. In order to get to know the student and her concerns better, Sompa uses a series of flashcards as prompts.
Sompa uses the ABC Model from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to discuss the student’s anxiety and explore some ways to change her thoughts about taking tests.
Online behavior and mental health services can also be used for groups. In this video, two students at different locations meet with Sompa to work on social skills. Using a simple online version of the game Pick Up Stix, Sompa asks the students a question based on the color of the stick they select. In this segment, they explore ways to deal with anger.
Evidence-based practices seem like fun and games to this speech student.