Therapy Adds Technology to Help Students and Schools
Maximizing resources, economies of scale, increasing efficiencies … these terms typically conjure images of business or industry. Who would think to associate them with therapy and counseling for students? IU13’s new Therapy Connect program!
Schools often are required to provide occupational therapy, speech/language therapy, hearing and vision support, or mental health counseling to their students. While on the surface this might sound simple, in reality, schools face many logistical challenges:
- Where to find highly qualified professionals in these high-demand fields?
- How to schedule so therapists and counselors spend more time WITH students, not traveling TO students?
- What to do when an on-staff professional will be absent for weeks, or even months? Hire someone new until they return?
By adding technology to the mix, IU13 now offers critical services through Therapy Connect to help schools streamline services and save money. Therapy Connect is a telepractice service provided through a partnership between IU13 and Chester County Intermediate Unit. Building on the expertise developed through both partners’ existing successful online programs, Therapy Connect provides accessible, high-quality services for preschool and school-age students with mild to complex needs, and is appropriate for a large majority of the students already receiving services in a variety of therapy and counseling areas.
But does it work for students? “The interaction really is completely the same as it would be in ‘tabletop therapy.’ I’m looking for signs that [the student is] excited about what’s happening on the screen and they’re also checking back in with me,” comments Therapy Connect speech therapist Liz Willis. She continues, “My skills are enhanced by the technology and definitely the student’s experience is enhanced by the technology.”
In fact, telepractice offers proven benefits including:
- Increased comfort of students as they work within their own environment
- Improved carryover of skills due to family/paraeducator involvement
- Increased student engagement due to the digital interface
- Broader scheduling flexibility for families and therapists
- Improved access to quality resources even in areas with personnel shortages
Plus, in addition to the benefits offered by telepractice in general, Therapy Connect brings even more, including:
- An expansive team of highly-qualified & specifically trained staff
- Discipline-specific supervision
- Personalized sessions
- Bilingual capabilities
- Proven online experience
- Full technical offerings including 1:1 in-session support
- A local perspective
Discover more about how Therapy Connect meets student needs and supports schools through this short video.