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

Deidre Sturm, MS, MA, CCC-SLP, BCBA, received twin Masters degrees, one in Speech Pathology Audiology, and a second Masters in Behavior Analysis, in the 1980s. She received the first degree at the University at Albany in Albany, New York, and the second degree at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. In addition to being an SLP, Deidre is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.  A California resident for 20 years, Deidre moved to Longmont, Colorado three years ago to be close to her two sons and new granddaughter. She’s an environmental activist and commutes everywhere by eBike. On her eBike, she can travel 25 miles in a pop. She loves the wonderful trails in Colorado. What inspired you to become an SLP? I wanted to…

Kim Priola, M.C.D., CCC-SLP, is a Louisiana native, born and raised in South Louisiana in the New Orleans area where she still lives today. She did her undergraduate studies at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana, and attended Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans for her M.C.D in Communication Disorders. Kim enjoys biking and kayaking. She loves to read. And she especially loves to spend time with her family. Three generations live near each other…her grown children live nearby and so do her parents. She started with PL in 2018. What inspired you to become an SLP? My high school had a career day when I was a junior. A speech pathologist came and talked with us about all the opportunities in…

Natalie Post, M.S., CCC-SLP, lead clinician, joined the PL Care Network in 2014. We interviewed her about the roots of her passion for speech language therapy and asked her to tell us a little about her experience transitioning to teletherapy.  Introduction I was born in Pensacola, Florida. When I was in high school, we moved to Colorado. We were very involved in the church. Our church college was in Nampa, Idaho, a little town outside of Boise, which is where I went for my undergrad. After that I went across the state to Idaho State University, in Pocatello, for my Master’s degree. My family has moved all my life—every 2-3 years we’ve moved—so it’s just normal for me to hop all over. After grad school,…

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…

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