In a COVID-19 environment where telepractice/telehealth is becoming more and more common, you may be wondering how traditional intervention strategies are adapted for digital use.
If so, you’ve come to the right place! Worldwide Speech has been offering online services for the last ten years, and if may I add, we’ve gotten really good at it! We use the a HIPAA compliant Zoom platform to provide real time video lessons with our clients. Zoom has the capability to share screens and utilize online whiteboards with annotation capabilities. Scroll down to learn how we adapt materials for each online service we provide!
Our reading interventionists utilize online book resources such as Epic and Reading A-Z. What’s unique about Epic Books is they have the option to enter read aloud mode to help your child while independently reading. Most Epic books have short comprehension quizzes to assess your child’s understanding of what they’ve read. They also have the capability to define a word if it’s unknown just by clicking on it, as seen below!
Reading A-Z offers projectable books with a toolbar that includes a drawing pen, highlighter, and stamps which can be used to as a pointer, similar to tracing the words with your finger.
Another resource we use are YouTube videos! Many Youtubers provide read-alongs to well-known books. Typically we pause the video on each page to allow our clients to read aloud at their own pace.
In our speech therapy sessions we utilize the book resources mentioned above to work on both language (ability to understand and express information) and articulation (ability to correctly produce speech sounds). We can work on language by talking about the book, labeling objects in the book, and asking questions about the book. To work on articulation, we can select books that are loaded with the sounds our clients are working on.
Another resource we enjoy using are BoomCards. BoomCards are interactive card decks that can be used for a variety of communication skills such as articulation, grammar, sorting/categories, matching, and vocabulary. Utilizing the remote control feature on Zoom, our clients can safely control our screen to manipulate the card decks.
We also develop individualized PowerPoint presentations to work on articulation and language. We love to incorporate our client’s interests to maximize motivation and success.
Lastly, we can tailor traditional games (e.g. Bingo, Chutes and Ladders, and Tic-Tac-Toe) to our clients articulation and language goals.
Regarding occupational therapy (OT), we incorporate games to strengthen a child’s ability to see, write, learn, express emotion, communicate, behave in a socially appropriate manner, and more.
Typically, OT incorporates hands-on activities, such as arts and crafts, handheld games, and other hands-on sensory toys such as Play-Doh and Slime. Many teletherapy sessions require some of these same objects to help strengthen a child’s fine motor skills and reach developmental milestones, such as manipulating scissors and drawing certain shapes. Parents/caretakers are encouraged to be involved in the session to act as a helper.
Warm-up exercises can help children who need proprioceptive and/or vestibular input. Our OTs coach client’s through fun warm-up exercises like these:
For fine motor activities such as handwriting and cutting, a resource may be emailed to the parent/caretaker to print out prior to the session. Visual motor skills can be targeted via virtual mazes or a follow the path activity. Digital puzzles can be used to work on visual memory, visual perception, spatial relationships, form constancy, and visual scanning.
Students today are well versed in technology. They love their screen time, so bringing their lessons to the screen can be a very effective modality. There are so many ways to be able to deliver special education instruction online. From online content sites to homemade PowerPoints, the ability to deliver exciting and effective learning strategies is almost endless!
One website we often use is called IXL Worldwide. This is a dynamic website aligned with Common Core Standards which offers adaptive learning for students with disabilities. IXL provides fun exercises for math, language arts, science, and social studies from Pre-K to senior year.
FunBrain is an educational website with exciting arcade games. Children with learning disabilities in grades K-8 can watch lessons and practice their skills in fun games that grab their attention.
As you can see, Worldwide Speech is dedicated to providing teletherapy services that are fun, effective, and evidence-based. We have built the company with the goal of helping children who live outside their own country. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, we see a need to provide students with a continuity care allowing them to continue services in speech therapy, reading intervention, occupational therapy, and special education. Head to our website to schedule a free consultation if you are interested in receiving our online services and we would be happy to help.