Odds are, employees in your special education program never trained for the drill triggered by a pandemic.

Like educators all over the country, you and your staff scrambled to do things you’d never even considered. And, you muddled through. You turned on the webcams, said, “Go!” and hoped for the best!

If your related services providers are still struggling to find enough “distraction-free” hours in the day to meet their free and appropriate public education (FAPE) obligations, let Pediatric Therapeutic Services (PTS) fill the gap by staffing your school-based teletherapy.

Using your own secure and compliant remote learning platform, our therapists and behavioral health staff are ready to offer:

  • Direct Services to Students
    Clinicians provide both one-on-one and small group services, so students make progress even when they’re not attending school in person.
  • Consultations
    Our consultations include sessions with teachers, administrators, and students’ families to plan the most effective and efficient interventions possible.
  • Participation in IEP Meetings
    Therapists’ continuing input enables teams to keep evaluating students’ advancement and setting new goals for them.
  • Progress Notes
    Progress notes help document how your program continues to meet students’ demonstrated educational needs while also keeping it legally compliant.
  • Strategies for Teachers and Parents
    Our strategic approach equips teachers and parents to deliver “therapy without the therapist” during these challenging days.

School-based teletherapy staffing from PTS is your ready-to-go solution for getting students the services and support they depend upon for educational success.

Why Teletherapy Makes Sense in Special Education Today

At first glance, social distancing and sheltering in place might seem like high hurdles for a special education program to clear. And, without question, the current public health crisis makes providing related services more challenging.

Fortunately, school-based teletherapy (also called telepractice) had been gaining ground well before the pandemic hit.

Male elementary student sits at table to write as female occupational therapist on laptop instructs via school-based teletherapy.Why? Three factors have driven the shift:

  • More U.S. students are receiving special education.
  • Fewer qualified and quality special education teachers and related service providers are available.
  • Internet-based communications power and pervasiveness are escalating.

Teletherapy can also overcome such obstacles as long distances between schools, the social stigma still often associated with pull-out therapy, and tight budgets without funds to hire more practitioners.

Some challenges to teletherapy’s wider adoption remain. Sometimes, licensure requirements raise issues where sessions take place across state lines. And the persistent “digital divide” between more and less affluent schools means some students don’t have adequate broadband internet access or equipment.

Increasingly, however, therapists and students are making new face-to-face connections and realizing effective outcomes.

What PTS Clinicians Can Accomplish in Teletherapy Sessions

School-based teletherapy is not about passively watching a therapist on a screen. Real therapy happens, in real time, as interactive and customized as it would be in the school building.

When therapists from PTS connect with kids via your program’s in-place fast and secure video conferencing solution, they can keep making significant strides toward students’ IEP goals.

Consider just a few examples:

  • Occupational Therapy
    OTs can guide students through activities requiring only common household items and students’ own toys. They can demonstrate strength-building exercises like planking and lead sensory-rich experiences like playing with modeling clay. They can build movement breaks into the sessions (time to take a crab walk!).
  • Speech-Language Pathology
    SLPs can demonstrate how to form students’ targeted sounds and words. They can closely watch and listen to how accurately students perform. The therapist can hold flashcards up to the webcam and can read e-books with students to work on fluency.
  • Physical Therapy
    PTs can observe students doing exercises like “Superman” or the “Bear Crawl.” They can lead yoga and dance workouts. They can enlist family members to help set up strengthening activities, such as having the child carry a bag weighted with groceries into the kitchen.

Enlist PTS to Increase Your Teletherapy Program’s Impact

For more than two decades, PTS has adopted technology that enhances and maximizes related services. Districts and schools who partner with us and who have already initiated online learning benefit from the complete teletherapy protocol we have in place.

It includes:

  • Letters to parents clearly explaining what teletherapy is and how it works.
  • Step-by-step instructions for participating in interactive teletherapy sessions.
  • Innovative and effective treatment ideas grounded in best practices.
  • Strategies for virtual IEP meetings that are efficient and productive.

While we don’t offer our own remote learning platform, we can help you discover and use the full potential of yours to deliver therapy services to your students.

The nearly 500 professional pediatric clinicians on our team stand ready to collaborate with yours. Simply fill out the form below to start exploring how your program can partner with us!

(If you’re a therapist seeking a school-based position, click here to review our current opportunities.)