Stacey C., OTR/L has practiced occupational therapy as a teletherapist since 2012. She joined the PL Care Network in 2015.
What do you enjoy about being a provider with PL?
My favorite thing with teletherapy itself is I feel like I connect with families and not just the student. I hear this in general. Even now since we’re all forced to be in this virtual world, more therapists are realizing they are getting more communication from parents and they’re able to actually train parents more than when they were at the school. Even teachers are getting more out of therapy because they’re more focused on what you’re doing versus in the classroom when they have everybody else running around. Teletherapy does open up a lot more learning opportunities, not just for the child but for the caregiving team.
What age range/student population are you currently serving? Please include demographic information.
I am serving Kindergarten through 12th grade, mild to moderate and moderate/severe population. Disabilities include Autism, Emotional Disturbance, ADHD, Down’s Syndrome.
What advice would you give districts considering online therapy?
I think it is difficult to understand how online therapy works and how a therapist can connect and instruct a student through a screen. My best advice would be to reach out to both districts and providers that are already involved in online therapy to gain a better understanding of how this type of intervention works.
I think the biggest thing for districts is that you have to see OT in action to believe it. I’m actually helping out a local district with virtual therapy. Back when I first became a virtual therapist I had floated the idea with them that I could help them out with more of a hybrid model where I could provide some onsite services and some telepractice services. They told me they couldn’t even imagine what OT telepractice would look like and that it was not going to work. Well, they’ve been forced to do it, I’ve helped them, and now they’re saying “Wow, it does work” all because they’ve seen it. And parents now have seen it and they’re saying the same thing—It works!
Really, the bottom line is Seeing is Believing, hearing from those that have experienced it—therapists, and then, especially parents, students, and teachers. They can explain this is how we set things up, this is how it goes, this is how it’s successful.
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