Local Inclusion Preschool Offers Online Therapy and Special Education Classes for Children with Developmental Delays
Recently, Little Lukes launched a new and exciting format for our therapy services. We are excited to announce Teletherapy! Teletherapy is a live video therapy or special education session between a child, their parent or guardian, and an occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech language pathologist, or special education teacher. Teletherapy ensures that our CPSE (Committee on Preschool Special Education) children with disabilities are able to continue receiving the services they need while social distancing during the COVID-19 public health crisis.
We sat down with Little Lukes Teletherapist, Bridget, to discuss this new format!
About Teletherapy, How Teletherapy Works
“Teletherapy works by using the internet to do face to face interactions over a computer, tablet, or phone. If a family has an internet connection we can do it! The platform we use is easy for families to access,” explains Bridget.
Teletherapy at Little Lukes is an online occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech pathology, or special education session via a HIPPA compliant video conferencing platform. “Parents will receive an email to set up a password and that’s it - then they can join a meeting with their therapist or special education teacher.”
Because Teletherapy is not in person, the procedures are a little different. A parent or guardian must be present during every Teletherapy appointment to help keep the child engaged and help instruct them. Bridget explains that, “Teletherapy requires good communication between the therapist or teacher and the family to ensure the child is getting the most out of their therapy time or special education time.”
Another element that differs from in-person sessions is that parents sign an online form at the end of every Teletherapy appointment. This allows Little Lukes to document sessions.
Why Little Lukes is Offering Teletherapy
The first 5 years are critical learning years for children, but they are especially critical for children with disabilities. Being able to have access to early intervention services while our community is on pause can help them continue to progress even though they are not physically with their therapist or special education teacher. It can also help them to not regress and potentially lose some of the progress they have made.
“Families may currently be struggling with their child’s skills regressing in this period of time where therapy can not be offered face to face. Most families are already facing many stressors due to children being home from school, economic uncertainty, etc. In addition, if a child’s skills are regressing, they may be experiencing frustration at not being able to communicate, which can add to parental stress,” explains Bridget.
Teletherapy will also allow the child and their family to maintain an element of their normal routine. “Teletherapy is something that they can have control over and use to continue to provide a routine that their child is used to. It can give families some control back in regards to helping with their child’s development.”
In addition, the therapist or special education teacher is typically a trusted source of information for parents and guardians. “Parents can turn to us for assistance regarding their child’s development. Teletherapy and special education can remind families that there are compassionate individuals in their lives that care about them and their child during this period of relative isolation,” says Bridget.
How to Sign up for Little Lukes Teletherapy
Teletherapy at Little Lukes is an online occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech pathology, or special education session on a HIPPA compliant video conferencing platform. The Teletherapy sessions are 30-60 minutes with a licensed OT, PT, SLP, or Special Education Teacher and are based on the services, frequency and length of time named in a child’s pre-existing IEP (individualized education plan) or IFSP (individualized family service plan). A parent or guardian must be present in the same room during the Teletherapy session, and may need to help the child with simple tasks and instructions. Parents can also help by providing simple toys or activities or a favorite toy for the session to help the child engage. At the end of the session, the parent or guardian must sign a daily electronic signature form.
Teletherapy sessions are by appointment only. Teletherapy is only available for children who already have an IEP or IFSP with Little Lukes. To sign up for Teletherapy sessions for your child, please call Lori at 315-326-3346 or email LL@littlelukes.com with your name & child’s name.
We hope you are all staying healthy and safe during this time. We look forward to welcoming your child to Teletherapy and then back to normal in-person visits with Little Lukes Therapists and Special Education Teachers!
About Little Lukes
Little Lukes is a leading Syracuse and Oswego County education provider with five inclusion preschool locations. The early education program includes credentialed and caring staff that specializes in comprehensive infant, toddler and pre-kindergarten development. Additional services include pediatric speech therapy, pediatric physical therapy and pediatric occupational therapy. Preschool locations include Dewitt (East Syracuse), Baldwinsville (Radisson), Oswego, Fulton, and Pulaski.
For information about Little Lukes, please contact us at https://www.littlelukes.com/contact.html