Same high-quality engaging services, increased access for children and their families
Teletherapy services are available to anyone in the state of California.
In our mission to help people succeed beyond their limitations and empower parents and caregivers by providing consistent quality services, honest information, and caregiver coaching, we are offering our services via telepractice.
Often, families in rural or low SES-communities experience inequities in health care services, especially when it comes to accessing speech and language therapy services, at Averhart Collins Speech Therapy Services, we are committed to changing that. Telepractice allows our team to serve families outside of the Los Angeles area. And during COVID-19, we are able to ensure the continuation of care for all families we serve through telepractice. Below you will find some commonly asked questions and answers.
How exactly does telepractice work?
Services look different for each child and family and is dependent on the age of the child, their goals, and what is being targeted during the session.
For children birth to 3 years old your therapist will use a combination of parent/caregiver coaching and direct interactions with the child. Direct interactions with the child will require a parent or another adult to be present to help facilitate the activities. For parent coaching, parents will be interacting with their child while being guided by the therapist (much like in-person sessions). Coaching is an excellent way for parents to learn and practice how to support their child in developing a specific skill. It is also a way for parents to understand how to increase opportunities for ongoing practice within play and daily routines.
What do I need to do to prepare for our telepractice session?
Prior to our first session, we will provide you with information for logging into the platform, troubleshooting tips, etc. If we are performing an evaluation, we may check the connection prior to the actual session to ensure we have sufficient audio and video quality for the evaluation.
We also like to have families send us a list of the toys in the home. We will use this list to select toys for therapy and also make home practice recommendations. We may also select standard in-home items to use for the session, and will let you know what items to have prepared for our session.
How will you keep my child engaged during the session?
We have a library of fun and motivating activities that we use during teletherapy sessions. Some of the therapy tools we use will be online and shared from our screen, others will utilize some objects, toys, and other household items from our side of the screen and/or your house. Before the session, we will be sure to let parents know what needs to be gathered up for our session. We may also email activities beforehand so parents can print and gather any necessary supplies.
Can we use a computer, tablet, or phone for telepractice?
We use a secure platform for teletherapy. Clients can access the platform from a computer or tablet with a web-based browser. Prior to your first session, we will provide you with directions for logging on and a troubleshooting guide to refer to during our sessions. If you do not have access to a tablet or computer for our session, please let us know ahead of time so we can set-up a Facetime or video call. Facetime and video calls on cell phones are not HIPAA compliant; however, there has been temporary authorization for the use of phones and non-HIPAA compliant platforms during COVID-19.
What about teletherapy adding to the amount of screen time my child is already getting?
Teletherapy services are different from the type of idle or stationary screen time experienced when watching TV. Our online sessions are interactive and socially engaging increasing the quality of screen time and providing for a rich educational experience. For younger children, for whom screen time should be minimal, we will primarily use the coaching model for delivering services where it is the parent who is most engaged with the screen.