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

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…

Sylvia Freire, CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist Sylvia Freire is originally from Florida. She now lives in Ecuador with her husband and three sons, ages 15, 13, and 11. Sylvia became a practicing SLP in 2000 and joined the PL Care Network as a teletherapist in 2015. She currently works with students in Maine and California. Can you tell us a little bit about your lifestyle in Ecuador? The city where I live is Quito, the capital of Ecuador. It has mountains all around it, but it’s like California because it’s hot, but it’s windy. The weather is similar to California where it rains one minute and the next minute it’s sunny again. When I’m not working, my family and I like to play racquetball, bowling, or…

This month we spoke with Kristin Martinez, M.A., CCC-SLP, Head of Clinical Standards and Outreach with PresenceLearning, to discuss how therapy happens online within the PresenceLearning platform. During this interview, Kristin focuses on the outlets for support that PresenceLearning offers providers in the PL Care Network. What type of support does PL offer to new clinicians in the PL Care Network?               Support for our new and returning providers is a top priority for PL, and we offer multiple options depending on what is needed. After first contracting with PL, all providers have access to Telehealth Institute, a self-paced tutorial on all things PL. Beyond Telehealth Institute, all providers have access to our Support Services department, our team of clinical…

Jason Maloney, M.A., CCC-SLP, has been a speech pathologist for 15 years. He attended Appalachian State University as an undergraduate and completed his Masters degree at South Carolina State University. Jason is currently working on his Doctorate in Education at Liberty University. He lives in western North Carolina with his wife and three-year-old daughter. Introduction: I was a speech teacher in the public schools for several years. That’s where I met my wife. She was the art teacher in the same little elementary school. We’ve been married for 16 years now. Our little daughter is turning three this summer. I’m a lifelong learner. I love learning. I just finished my North Carolina beekeeping certification class. I’ve become an official North Carolina beekeeper. I’m excited about…

Cindy Hollmann, M.S., CCC-SLP, currently lives in Bellefontaine Neighbors, Missouri. Cindy started her studies at the University of Missouri, Columbia (Mizzou), and later transferred to Southern Illinois University where she finished her B.S. and M.S. degrees in 1995 and 1997. Cindy worked as an SLP in “brick & mortar” schools for 15 years initially and has now been a provider with PresenceLearning for seven years. What inspired you to become an SLP? I began my college studies in journalism and ended up in 2 classes—a sign language class and a linguistics class—that overlapped with speech pathology majors and realized that was more my calling. What made you want to become a teletherapist with PL? When I first started reading about teletherapy in the ASHA journals,…

This month we spoke with Kristin Martinez, M.A., CCC-SLP, Head of Clinical Standards and Outreach with PresenceLearning, to discuss how therapy happens online within the PresenceLearning platform. She focuses on the key features available for providers in the PL Care Network. Can you tell us how providers utilize online therapy materials and share ideas among the PresenceLearning community? Providers in the PL Care Network can upload any scanned materials for personal use in their individual therapy rooms. They can organize their materials into queues within the therapy room in whatever manner makes the most sense for their planning. In addition to uploaded materials (e.g., worksheets, game boards, books), providers have access to all the supplemental and interactive tools developed by the PresenceLearning product team, including whiteboard tools, animated rewards, interactive and customizable memory and flash cards. Providers also have the ability to upload videos and to use PresenceLearning’s SiteShare tool to bring in some web-based activities. In addition to customizable therapy rooms, providers also have access to the greatest resource, their fellow PresenceLearning clinicians! PresenceLearning offers a provider community forum called the Lounge, where PL Care Network providers can interact, ask questions, and post ideas. For example, in the Bright…

Leah Wilner grew up in western Massachusetts, in a small town outside Amherst. From her small town base, she traveled the world, living in France, Spain, and Ireland, college in DC, then on to San Francisco and Oregon for grad school, back to San Francisco to work as an SLP in the Berkeley schools, and today, she lives in Reno. Leah has been an SLP with PresenceLearning since 2018. Could you walk us through your daily routine? A “day in the life of a PL therapist” if you will? I’m in a unique position right now—my partner and I are about to move so I am currently doing sessions in my home in a quiet corner to reduce the distractions. In my new home, I’ll…

Jenna Malander lives in rural Nebraska with her husband and three children, ages 7, 6, and 4. She’s been working as an Occupational Therapist since 2009. The population of Jenna’s town is 117. You read that right. She told us that school-based jobs in her area are hard to come by and, if you have an OT position, it tends to involve a lot of driving because the area is so rural. The lack of job opportunities and the search for more flexibility as a working mom led her to teletherapy. Jenna is a Lead Clinician at PresenceLearning. Could you walk us through your daily routine? A “day in the life of a PL therapist” if you will? My workday typically starts after I get…

This month we spoke with Kristin Martinez, M.A., CCC-SLP, a clinical quality manager with PresenceLearning, to discuss how caseload management works online. Let’s begin with how you access your assignments as a PL teletherapist. PL providers are given assignments that are a good match based upon active licensure, relevant discipline, and availability that is in-line with a particular school’s schedule. Providers receive notification of this assignment with all necessary initial details as well as the name of the PL lead clinician supporting this district. Following this first notification, the lead clinician then contacts the provider to initiate the process of supplying all required assignment details. Once a provider has a confirmed assignment, she will have access to any information PL has gathered regarding the district,…

We’ve had a lot of questions come in recently asking about how caseload management works in teletherapy. Specifically, we’ve had therapists ask how providers in the PL Care Network get their first assignment and complete all the behind-the-scenes work that goes into getting started with a new caseload. This is the first in a four-part series that walks through how to transition from onsite to online work as a therapist. We reached out to Kristin Martinez, SLP-CCC, to help us answer some of the most frequent questions we’ve heard. How do you define and communicate availability? At PresenceLearning, we request that providers indicate specifically when, each day, they are available to sit down in front of the computer for therapy sessions. These times must be recurring as therapy sessions are scheduled based upon this information. Beyond availability for direct therapy, however, providers must also be available to attend IEP meetings, complete evaluations, respond to email, and complete all student-related documentation and paperwork. The days and times may vary, but providers are still responsible for all caseload-related tasks, just as onsite providers would be. We begin to gather availability information during the recruiting process, then if a provider contracts with us,…

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