The Effectiveness of TeleSpeech in Early Intervention (EI) Services
Over the years, high quality free education has become available throughout the country. There are teachers in every corner of the nation who are able to help most children realize their full potential, once they are of school age. The one area that many communities still struggle with is early intervention services for children from birth to about age two. It is during these early formative years that children with developmental delays and disabilities need this elusive help the most.
Since the beginning of the IDEA legislation, the federal government has dictated that all children with disabilities be offered educational services from birth to age 21. However, it is during the first years that children can benefit so greatly from such services. While there are some things TeleSpeech cannot offer, such as the initial evaluation, there are many services which can be delivered effectively. In some instances, these therapies are more effective than traditional delivery systems.
If a local community does not have the specialists a child needs, he or she may not receive optimal care. Each disability or delay has its own treatment method. Children with rare conditions may have a more difficult time finding services in the immediate area, and their caregivers may be unable to transport them to those services on a regular basis. Limited access to such resources could reduce the effectiveness of the chosen therapy. With TeleSpeech, the child and parent could go to a local school that has already been outfitted with the technology and be connected to a specialist in another area of the state or country.
Another area where TeleSpeech therapies shine is in family education and involvement. By setting up therapy sessions in the home the therapist will be able to observe daily routines and offer advice on how therapeutic techniques can be incorporated for the maximum benefit of the child. Additionally, interactions with family members can be observed and the therapist can help identify where there is potential for teachable moments to occur. Specific family problems can also be addressed and worked on as needed.
The possibilities for TeleSpeech in early intervention are just being realized and the potential benefit for young children seems limitless. As video conferencing technologies become more prevalent throughout the nation, these services will only increase. What do you see as the most beneficial aspect of TeleSpeech in early intervention cases?