Virtually Speaking: A Teletherapy Blog for Clinicians, by Clinicians - PresenceLearning

Before joining PresenceLearning, Cheryl Messier, CCC-SLP, practiced speech-language pathology for 19 years in K-5 in public schools. She’s been working with PresenceLearning since 2016. We sat down with Cheryl to talk about her work as a teletherapist. Could you walk us through your daily routine? A “day in the life of a PL therapist” if you will? Every day is different. I mostly focus my therapy sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Mondays I focus on IEPs and evaluations. And on Fridays, I babysit my grandchild.  I’m licensed in Maine and California. I start my teletherapy sessions early in the morning at 8 am Eastern (5 am PT) with my Maine students. Then I take a little breather before my California students begin. I like…

Janine Kessler, M.S., CCC-SLP, has over 20 years of speech therapy experience in schools and has been a teletherapist with PL since 2017. She grew up in Canada, owns a home in Missoula, Montana, and currently lives in Sacramento, CA. Janine and her husband love to travel.  What inspired you to become an SLP? Growing up I thought I might want to be a teacher. I liked the idea of being in education. My dad had a friend whose daughter was a speech-language pathologist. One thing led to another and pretty soon I was going to college for speech therapy. I was always attracted to the kids in school who struggled with learning. Even in college, we had to take education classes for our undergraduate…

Jessica Keen, M.S., CCC-SLP, joined the PresenceLearning team in 2011 after she found out she was moving to St. Maarten in the Caribbean for her husband’s medical school training. Since living in St. Maarten, she’s moved 7 different times and lived in 5 different states. She has two children, ages 4 and 2, and lives in New Orleans today.  Can you tell us a little about where you’re from, and what you like to do when you’re not working?  I am originally from Cleveland, a small town in the North Western region of Mississippi called the Mississippi Delta. I lived there my whole life until I went to college. And then I met my husband at college in Oxford, Mississippi at the University of Mississippi.…

Connie Upton, M.S., CCC-SLP, joined the PL Care Network in 2018. We interviewed her about the roots of her passion for speech-pathology and asked her to tell us a little about her experience transitioning to teletherapy.  Introduction I grew up in Kennebunk, Maine and went to the University of New Hampshire in Durham for my undergraduate degree. I worked for a year in New Hampshire, and then I went back to UNH to get my M.S. degree. Before moving to Germany, I lived in Southern Maine working for Pine Tree Society, a non-profit organization, doing a variety of speech therapy responsibilities—I was digging into AAC, doing evaluations, consultations, and providing therapy to people of all ages. I worked with Pine Tree Society for a number…

This month, we sat down with our Head of Clinical Standards and Outreach, Kristin Martinez, M.A. CCC-SLP, to learn more about how students with severe disabilities and impairments can benefit from teletherapy. During our interview, Kristin explains student candidacy and adaptive approaches to serving students with more severe impairments. What are some common misconceptions about student candidacy for teletherapy? One of the most common misconceptions about providing speech-language services via teletherapy is that this cannot be a successful service delivery model for students with more significant needs. At PresenceLearning, we have the benefit of a decade of experience providing online school-based services. Our students have progressed, met IEP goals, and graduated from services regardless of their primary disabilities or level of impairment. However, there are…

Karen McBride, CCC-SLP, is a lead clinician with PresenceLearning. She currently lives in Pawling, New York. Karen started working as an SLP in 1980. She was ripe for change and started researching teletherapy. After trying it out, she made the shift. Karen joined the PL Care Network in 2011 and in 2014, added the lead clinician role to her therapy work. Could you walk us through your daily routine? A “day in the life of a PL therapist” if you will?  My workday is different every day. Generally, I will start with a birth-to-3 program in Maine. That population is my passion. I provide services to East Coast districts but as the day moves forward my other schools in Michigan, Missouri, Idaho and California start…

Angela Coyle, M.S.Ed., was born and raised in Iowa and attended college at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana where she lived for 30 years. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband. She has two sons in college, ages 20 and 22.  What inspired you to become a school psychologist? I always thought I’d be an educator, but I went through a back door. I started working for public television for PBS and NPR and really liked that. I started doing education outreach through Sesame Street and Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and realized I really was supposed to be an educator. I didn’t necessarily want to go through a classroom process and be a classroom teacher. I decided to be a school psychologist because I really…

Hollie Fleming, CCC-SLP, grew up in Springfield, Missouri. She graduated with her speech-language pathology degree from Missouri State University and has been a practicing SLP for 12 years. She’s also a certified yoga instructor. Hollie travels with her husband who is in the military. They have a twelve-year-old daughter. Their family currently lives in South Dakota. Hollie joined the PL Care Network in 2018. Can you tell us a little about yourself, where you live, your hobbies?  I enjoy practicing yoga and taking yoga classes. My family is an outdoor family so we enjoy hiking, being outdoors, and gardening. I’m kind of a techie so I enjoy creating materials for my practice on the computer—graphic design, just anything that is visual. Most of my materials…

Trisha Ray, CCC-SLP, first became an SLP in 2010 and held several different positions before becoming a teletherapist. She worked in an autism-based school for 4 or 5 years and she did some outpatient therapy as well—all pediatrics. Trisha got her BA in elementary education and right after college started substitute teaching. She hated it. She wanted a full time teaching job but was having a lot of trouble because the market was really saturated. While subbing, she met an SLP and realized that was a great fit for her—it would let her differentiate herself in a crowded market, and she could work one-on-one with students—so she went back to school to do the required supplementary coursework and went on to grad school to become…

Barbara Jones, M.S., CCC-SLP, grew up in the Washington, D.C. area. She went to college in Texas where she met her husband. They lived in Texas for 9 years after graduate school and then moved to Arkansas where they’ve lived ever since. About her home state, Barbara told us, “Arkansas is a well kept secret. It’s really a beautiful place and not too big and not too busy. It’s just about right.” What do you and your husband do outside of work? We have 3 children and 2 grandchildren. Outside of work I spend a lot time doing volunteer work. I work a lot with Young Life, an outreach organization to adolescents. So sometimes I’m spending my outside time with college kids—that’s the area of…

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