Myths About Teletherapy: Exposed Part 2
Teletherapy continues to spark some controversy in the school-based speech therapy world. I continue this series to educate others on this unique service delivery model. If you haven’t read Part 1 of this series, click here!
So, here we go.
Myth #3:” You absolutely cannot make connections with students through a screen”.
This statement is clearly uttered from people who don’t regularly use technology. We live in a digital age, where we text instead of call, use Skype for business collaboration and email for the simplest of requests. Now, more than ever, students utilize technology in ways we adults could never imagine. I watch my 12 year-old daughter text at a rate that is almost as fast as human speech! Technology is a huge part of how we communicate with others in 2017. If you believe that you cannot make connections with students via the internet, then you may need to open your eyes to world around you.
In my first 2 weeks as a teletherapist, I had a little boy invite me to attend his birthday party. He lives in Vermont. I live in Illinois. Almost weekly, I have an elementary student request that I “come for a visit”. My high school students routinely discuss the school “drama” before we begin our session, and ask me how my weekend was. I hear “I love you Mrs. S” from my kindergarteners. I get pictures and art work from my virtual students via email. My students say “I missed you” after long breaks, and slap me a virtual “high five” as we touch hands across screens. My students and I discuss family, friends, likes and dislikes. I’ve learned some students are vegetarians, and some draw anime characters as a hobby.
I absolutely have bonded with my students across the internet. The computer is a tool for our human connection. It doesn’t stop my personality from resonating with theirs. My passion and exuberance still transmit through glass. My nonverbal language is still as powerful as verbal language- smiling, laughing, listening….. It helps to build the same rapport I have with any other student who sits directly in front of me. There is simply very little difference. It was clear to me within the first week of service, this myth was to be quickly debunked.
If you'd like to read more about teletherapy, you must read these blog posts too!