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Stage 1 in my Tele-Journey

DotCom Teletherapy

Hey everyone, I’m going to be a teletherapist! I am a Speech Therapist that recently had a baby and I need a job that’s flexible but still skilled…insert DotCom Therapy here.   So, I have recently discovered that announcing a new job position with a company that specializes in telepractice, DotCom Therapy, comes with a huge amount of support from everyone but also a large amount of questions on a seemingly unfamiliar topic, telepractice.   I have noticed that the questions I’m getting all seem to be similar.  So, for my first blog involving my "tele-journey”, I think it would be beneficial to answer the common questions and clarify any misconceptions.

What exactly is teletherapy?

According to the American Speech Language and Hearing Association, telepractice is "the application of telecommunications technology to the delivery of speech language pathology and audiology professional services at a distance by linking clinician to client/patient or clinician to clinician for assessment, intervention, and/or consultation.” 

Essentially, I will be providing my same speech therapy roles with my same ethical obligations, e.g. tending to my scope of practice/respecting privacy, but will be providing those services through an online platform.

So, it’s like therapy via Skype?

Well, not exactly.  Although some clients love Skype, Skype cannot provide the HIPAA guidelines that speech therapists have an obligation to adhere to.  DotCom Therapy utilizes an easy-to-use online platform that allows us to share informative and rehabilitative materials with our clients while respecting our client’s right to privacy.

Do you have to be tech-savvy to use DotCom’s services?

No, or I wouldn’t have gotten the job.  If I can do it, you can probably do it in your sleep.

Do you only work with adults?

With DotCom Therapy (DCT), we can work with both children and adults via teletherapy.  I personally am very excited to work with children in school districts.

Wait…you can see children when they’re in school?

Yes and this is a very exciting service that DCT offers.  Unfortunately, the rate of childhood disorders, like Autism, is increasing and school districts have limited access to skilled speech therapists to provide the necessary services to help these children succeed.  Through DCT we are able to provide our skills and knowledge base to these schools through services that are direct, providing the actual therapy ourselves, or indirect, supervision of an implementer/SLPA.

How does that work exactly?

All the students need is access to a computer and internet.  Myself, or another skilled therapist with the company, can provide evaluations and/or treatment as we would in person.  Providing assessments, case managing, holding an IEP meeting, teacher education, parent education, treatment, implementer supervision…these are all possible with teletherapy.  It is very exciting to be able to provide services to those who don’t normally have access to it.

I saw on the website that you all do Lee Silverman Voice Training ®. Why would someone want that via teletherapy?

Parkinson’s Disease, what LSVT is typically designed for, can be a very debilitating disease, particularly in the area of voice and speech. However, often times these individuals are diagnosed when they are young enough to still be working and can’t find the time to go to a 9-5 clinic for their voice services.  On the other end, I recently met an individual that is retired and refused home health speech therapy because the requirements to qualify for home health, e.g. being home bound to an extent, were too regimented and just didn’t fit with his life and schedule.  Insert DCT here.

So, schools and LSVT, is that the main thing?

Speech Therapists have a very large scope of practice and telepractice is no different.  If you have a child who doesn’t qualify for school services, a physician you know that wants accent modification, a teenager that’s struggling with written language and reading comprehension, a choir singer that keeps losing her voice…these are all examples of things that DCT can address.  

Alright, I think I answered the main bulk of questions that I’ve been getting.  Oh, a lot of people ask what I’m going to wear since I don’t technically have to go to an office.  I will be in professional clothes just like every other ST out there…minus the slippers I plan on wearing…I’m excited for the slippers. Stay tuned for more about my tele-journey with DotCom Therapy!



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