By Elizabeth Haas This is the second post in a three-part series on school-based occupational therapy for sensory integration issues. You can read the first post here, where I provide an overview of sensory integration issues.  L. is a student who not only inspired me, but taught me that working online with children who have sensory integration needs is possible. When I met L., she was eight years old and in the third grade. When she started school in kindergarten, she attended a brick and mortar school, but she suffered so many traumatic experiences there that her parents switched her to a virtual school. L.’s needs were so severe and led to so many scary experiences for her and her family that she actually stopped…

Ronnie Sidney, a proud recipient of a master’s degree in social work from Virginia Commonwealth University and a published children’s book author, was not always on track for success – at least not according to his teachers. Sidney is a black male diagnosed with ADHD, which he says created a double stigma for him to overcome. In a recent NPR article, Sidney spoke about his school experience, including how he felt misunderstood or judged by some of his teachers and how this encouraged him to prove them wrong. Unfortunately, not every student of color with special needs succeeds like Sidney. According to the article, the National Center for Learning Disabilities analyzed data from the U.S. Department of Education and found students with learning disabilities drop out at…

The “Have you Heard” podcast covers various public education topics. Recently hosts Aaron French and Jennifer Berkshire aired the episode titled “Kindergarten Suspensions: Yes, It’s a Thing.” The thought of suspended kindergarteners seems absurd, but it’s happening more than you think, especially in urban areas. In the podcast, French and Berkshire focus on the story of 5-year-old Malik Cross, who was suspended from his Boston-area public school 16 times in kindergarten. Malikka Williams, his mother, said Malik was getting sent to the dean’s office for arbitrary reasons such as “wiggling on the rug, not tracking the teacher with his eyes or for laughing when a friend whispered in his ear.” Malik, being a 5-year-old, was confused about why this behavior warranted a trip to the dean’s office. This confusion, coupled with his diagnosed social-emotional development delays and inability to self-regulate his emotions, led to meltdowns. During his meltdowns, Malik kicked, spit, hit, and ran out of the building; all offenses for which the dean suspended him. By the time he was suspended 16 times in four months, Williams knew something needed to be done. Unfortunately, Malik’s school was run by a non-profit management group that did not have to follow…

PresenceLearning was recently recognized by CB Insights as the top ranked company based on its Mosaic momentum score, a National Science Foundation-backed score that tracks the health of private companies using public data. PresenceLearning’s Mosaic score was +330 for the week, 170 points higher than the second ranked company for the week of March 13, 2017. According to CB Insights, Mosaic’s quantitative framework uses three distinct and independent factors that are synthesized into one final Mosaic score that measures the overall health and growth potential of private companies. These factors are: Momentum: Measures the individual performance of a company relative to itself and peers using signals from social media, news sentiment, mobile and web traffic/usage, hiring, and customer and partner signings Market: Quantifies the health of the industry in which a company participates based on funding, deals, hiring activity, industry sentiment, and exit activity, among other factors Money: Assesses the financial strength and viability of a company based on financing history, burn rate, and investor quality This ranking by CB Insights signifies our growth and sustainability as a company – we couldn’t do it without all of our terrific customers and our hardworking team of clinicians and employees! To learn…

Taking flight as an independent telepractitioner is easier than you might think. SLPs, OTs, and behavioral and mental health professionals are rising above traditional career constraints with telepractice, and PresenceLearning provides support every step of the way. Find out how you can get started in this infographic. Download a Copy

By Elizabeth Haas This is the first post in a three-part series on school-based occupational therapy for sensory integration issues. When I first started providing online occupational therapy (OT) services to students online several years ago, I thought it might be difficult to work on certain types of goals in an online environment, particularly those related to a student’s sensory integration needs. In the second and third posts in this series, I will share a case study about a student who opened my eyes in many regards, as well some specific ways occupational therapists work with students, families, and support teams on sensory integration. To kick off the series, however, let’s discuss what is meant by the term sensory integration. Simply put, sensory integration refers…

Every May, ASHA‘s Better Hearing & Speech Month raises awareness about communication disorders and the role of ASHA members in providing intervention. The 2017 theme is “Communication: The Key to Connection.” We couldn’t agree more – proper communication is the key to connection! It’s the foundational skill supporting children’s relationships with families, friends and educators; their learning in the classroom; and their ongoing success. Because of this, speech-language pathologists and audiologists play a CRUCIAL role in students’ lives. Their diligent evaluations and thoughtful intervention strategies can most certainly change a student’s life for the better. Our online clinicians work hard year-round, but we most certainly will share our thanks for them this month! How do you plan on showing your gratitude and spreading awareness? ASHA…

The team at PresenceLearning will be in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, California, Texas, New Jersey, Oregon, Virginia, Florida, and Pennsylvania in May. Stop by and say hello! WCASS Spring Conference  May 3 – 5 Madison, WI maaps Annual Conference May 5 Marlborough, MA JCCASAC State Conference  May 10 – 12 Lake Tahoe, CA ESC Region 6 Vendor Fair  May 17 Huntsville, TX NJASA/NJAPSA Spring Leadership Conference May 17 – 19 Atlantic City, NJ OAESD Conference May 18 – 20 Redmond, OR VCASE Spring Conference May 24 – 25 Virginia Beach, VA FLASHA Annual Convention  May 25 – 28 Lake Buena Vista, FL PAIU Conference  May 31 – June 2 Seven Springs, PA Would you like to schedule a private demo during one of these conferences? Email sales@presencelearning.com and let us know where you will be attending.

PresenceLearning often highlights how the online delivery of special education related services is a powerful tool for schools in hard-to-reach locations or in areas experiencing therapist shortages. Similar to telepractice for therapy services, telemedicine for basic health examinations and treatments are growing in popularity in rural locations, nursing homes, prisons and now schools. Stateline, published by The Pew Charitable Trusts, recently covered an instance at Ducketts Lane Elementary School in Elkridge, Maryland during which a student was having an asthma attack, but her parents had not yet signed a permission form allowing the nurse to administer medication. The student’s father was more than an hour away, but the student needed treatment immediately. This situation would typically require the school nurse to call an ambulance for the student; however, the school has a telemedicine program. The school nurse set up a live, online video conference with an emergency room pediatrician at a local hospital. The student had earlier permission from her parents to participate in the telemedicine program so a digital stethoscope allowed the remote pediatrician to listen to the girl’s lungs, confirm the asthma attack, and direct the school nurse to administer medication. Instead of spending hours at the hospital, the…

Erin O’Connell, an online school psychologist with PresenceLearning, and her family are currently living on the Naval Air Facility Atsugi (NAF Atsugi) in Japan where her husband is stationed. Despite being more than 5,000 miles away from her students, Erin is able to continue her professional career via teletherapy and, importantly, help students succeed. Preparing to Move Erin originally began working as a school psychologist in Florida, but she knew her family would be moving frequently and that she would need to expand her career and certification to other states. In preparation, Erin became a Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP).  Later, when she worked in Maryland, she was allowed to practice part-time without expanding her state certification, but when a subsequent move brought the O’Connells…

© 2017. All Rights Reserved. | PresenceLearning makes live, online special education related services available to K-12 students around the country — and world. As the leader in the delivery of clinical services via the web, PresenceLearning has provided over one million sessions of speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, behavioral interventions and mental health services, assessments, and early childhood services.