05 Apr How to find an effective tele-helper for online speech therapy pt.2
As a teletherapist, a discussion should take place between you and the company you are contracted with or between you and the school you are servicing (if a private practitioner) about the purchasing of supplies needed on the site such as markers, paper, pencils, scissors, glue, sticker charts, and reward stickers. If you were physically working onsite, the money used to purchase these supplies would come out of the building budget, the Speech/Language therapy/Special-Education budget, or the school district budget. This should also occur when the tele-helper needs supplies for the students as part of therapy (e.g., using different colors while working on direction-following) or for use as a positive reinforcer (e.g., coloring). Do not forget to include a closable container in which to store these supplies.
The tele-helper also needs access to a copier machine/printer to print out materials emailed to him/her. From positive-reinforcer worksheets, IEP forms, progress reports, to such items as Speech/Language homework pages, the tele-helper should have access to such school equipment along with the training on how to use it. Be sure to find out who is responsible for purchasing the paper for printing as well as the allotment of pages allowed.
The delivery of messages to and from the teletherapist is another important responsibility of the tele-helper. Whether it is checking to see if any students are absent to notifying the teachers that a student has Speech/Language homework to take home, IEP paperwork to have the students’ parents sign, and/or reporting the students’ behaviors during teletherapy, the lines of communication are kept open by the tele-helper. If you work with preschool students the parent transports to/from school, you can have the tele-helper report to the parent the focus of that particular session, ask if s/he has any questions for the teletherapist, and share the child’s behavior during the session.
Tracy Sippl, M.S., CCC-SLP
Speech/Language Pathologist & Teletherapist