Supporting Students’ Learning Challenges Virtually

By: VocoVision

Learning challenges affect students across all walks of life, throughout school districts across the nation. There are many different disabilities that can impede student learning and progress. Students with these challenges require customized, individualized delivery of services. VocoVision offers a powerful, dynamic, and interactive approach to ensure that all students are supported.

VocoVision’s Approach to Therapy

You want the very best for all your students, including those that face difficult learning challenges.  VocoVision’s innovative and practical approach to therapy is the solution. Remote service delivery, known as teletherapy, is proving to be as successful as on-site clinical therapy. Offering a wide selection of top-notch virtual services, we match highly qualified professionals to students with particular learning obstacles.

By supplying a platform for students and teletherapy professionals to interact, VocoVision ensures equity and access to all students who require services. No matter the specific learning challenge facing your students, we can provide the teletherapy services for schools that you need. Common learning challenges fall under the categories of Speech-Language, literacy, health and sensory impairments, and psychology. We have experts ready to assist your students within these fields and more. 

School Based Telehealth Works

As data continues to roll in, one conclusion is becoming clear: school-based telehealth works. This impact is playing out across multiple therapy fields and among students from all backgrounds and specific challenges.

Take the arena of speech-language pathology, for instance. This field is a highly nuanced area of study, and many particular disorders exist that affect students. Emerging research is showing that remote SLP therapy is equally effective as in-person SLP service providing.

Within articulation and phonological disorders, for example, there were similar outcomes among students. In three different studies conducted by Grogan-Johnson et al. (2010, 2011, and 2013), there was no significant difference found between students who received assistance remotely versus those who were provided services in person. Another study, Gabel et al. (2013), came to a similar conclusion in speech-sound disorders: teletherapy kept pace with in-person administration.

Results comparing on-site psychology to remote school psychology have also shown a close correlation. In the example of Wright (2016), researchers deemed assessmentconditions to be similar and equally successful.

Occupational therapy is a standout in remote service providing, even amongst the many other successes in telehealth research. One major, often overlooked area of success is student happiness. Students perform well when the environment is optimized. Such was the case in Chriss et al. (2013), which reported unanimous student satisfaction during teletherapy.

Teletherapy research is also demonstrating its efficacy in multiple domains, including assessment and intervention. This efficiency manifests in many areas, such as language, fluency, and occupational therapy. Results in language studies comparing on-site to teletherapy showed no significant distinctions in administering and evaluating assessments. The data is even more convincing within the study of intervention. In Scheideman-Miller et al. (2002), students were monitored in a telepractice language program in a school setting. Students made substantial progress, including two students who exited from SLP services.

Here at VocoVision, we deliver success consistently. We follow teletherapy practices that are data-driven and proven to be effective at school sites across the country. Whatever challenges your students are struggling with, our virtual Speech-Language pathologists, school psychologists, occupational therapists, and many other expert professionals are ready to ensure success.

Student Learning Challenges

There is a vast number of student learning challenges that our students are dealing with every day. From mild to severe, these challenges affect millions of students in schools across the country. Some common learning obstacles include auditory processing deficits, language impairments, autism spectrum disorders, and literacy and written speech disorders.

Many students with these learning disabilities are recommended for special education. The most common special education eligibility is Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD), which includes a lengthy list of learning challenges. Some of these obstacles are those found most frequently: dyslexia, auditory processing deficits, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia. Other eligibility categories are Other Health Impairment, autism spectrum disorder, speech and language impairment, deaf/hard of hearing, and visual impairment. More than 7 million American students are eligible for special education, with a third of those classified as SLD.

Over the past twenty years, autism spectrum disorders have been steadily increasing. The latest data states that 1 out of every 54 children has ASD, with four times the number of boys with the condition compared to girls. Recognizing that it is a spectrum, students with ASD display a wide range of behaviors and cognitive levels. One-third of those with ASD is considered nonverbal. Many of these students are subject to bullying, insecure, and prone to psychological issues. Anxiety, depression, and severe mental conditions such as schizophrenia have been linked to autism.

Several of these learning disorders overlap or cause further cognitive and developmental challenges for students. For example, auditory processing deficits can lead to communication struggles. Dyslexia can affect not just literacy, but also phonemic awareness, resulting in speech issues. ADHD, which affects more than 6 million children – and that includes only those that have been officially diagnosed – directly influences the student’s ability to focus and therefore learn progressive skills. Unfortunately, many students with these challenges tend to slip through the cracks, especially if their disorders are subtle or masked by behaviors.

This risk is where the importance of providing quality services matters the most. Service providers work with students who are experiencing these challenges at school. Schools and districts expect to contract expert professionals, those that are qualified and effective in their work with children. Nearly every school in the country enrolls students with some form of learning disorder. Each of these students is unique and needs a customized service plan based on their cognitive levels, particular learning challenges, and educational history. Not all special education students receive services, but those that do require a tailored approach from a qualified provider to help them achieve a positive outcome.

At VocoVision, our expansive network of expert telehealth providers can work with students at schools anywhere in the country. Customizing the services to fit the needs of each individual, these qualified professionals can support any learning challenge that arises. There are many learning disorders for which VocoVision will provide support from its network of skilled practitioners.

Childhood Apraxia of Speech

CAS, or childhood apraxia of speech, is a speech disorder. It involves a lack of motor coordination and planning, which can lead to speech impairment. Speech Language Pathologists at VocoVision work remotely with students with CAS to individually practice, generalize, and improve their speech function.

Articulation and Phonology

These are two separate categories, falling under the broader umbrella of Speech Sound Disorders. In articulation, individual sounds may be hard to pronounce due to weaknesses in the students’ speech mechanism. Phonology challenges include the inability to produce consonant sounds together, or when a student substitutes sounds incorrectly. SLPs help students with articulation and phonology challenges by learning to use sound patterns and in different contexts.

Language Impairments

At your school, you may have students with a variety of language disorders. These impairments can include an inability to grasp new vocabulary, multiple-meaning words, text structures, or the nuanced concept of pragmatics. Pragmatics includes how to converse, how to listen, and how to supply information in discourse. The expert SLPs at VocoVision can help students attain these skills effectively.

Fluency (Stuttering)

Fluency is not just a motor issue that can resolve itself with speech practice. Fluency often has an emotional and psychological component, as well. The services provided by the SLPs here are part of a holistic approach that considers the entire student. Additionally, remote providers can harness the power of the internet to engage learners effectively.

Literacy and Written Language

More and more, a connection is made directly between speech and written language. As students increase their oral language skills, literacy often follows. As children learn phonological standards, they begin to transfer that knowledge to their reading and writing. Virtual SLPs can help students bridge this gap, linking the same language structures that they are learning in sessions with written language improvement.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

AAC is a form of instruction used when traditional teaching has not been successful. It often involves significant modifications and accommodations to support the learner. Due to the severity of some of the learning disorders involved with AAC students, SLPs often recruit other on-site team members to assist in service delivery. The expertise of VocoVision professionals guides the sessions, ensuring a positive outcome for students.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

As far as behaviors, cognitive levels, and speech and language functionality, students with autism spectrum disorder run the gamut. Service providers need to customize their approach to each child to ensure the ideal result. Many students on this spectrum thrive in comfortable spaces with minimal distractions. Working with a VocoVision SLP in a teletherapy session can be the solution that many of these students prefer.

H3 Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Many DHH students have a unique learning challenge: they need to have an adult shadow them throughout the school day. Combining VocoVision’s skilled Sign Language Interpreters with our innovative Video Remote Interpreting, students are allowed significant personal freedom while receiving high-quality services and scaffolding.

Visual Impairments

Teachers of the visually impaired, TVIs, help students who are blind or have significant issues with sight. Our Tele-TVIs have reaped the advantage of videoconferencing and the ability to bring many stakeholders together. As facilitators to the success of the team, our experts provide invaluable information to help students achieve optimal success.

Mental Health Challenges

Mental health is a broad category, often involving many students at a school site. For students with ASD, those that require coping strategies, and those that are victims of trauma, our remote school psychologists are well-equipped to provide excellent, research-backed services. Some of these offerings include assessment, evaluation, and IEP participation.

Occupational/Motor Challenges

For students who have motor challenges requiring occupational therapy, VocoVision’s remote occupational therapists are a versatile solution. Virtual services that our OTs provide include consultation, assessment, monitoring, and treatment.

Access VocoVision’s Teletherapy Services

Accessing VocoVision’s teletherapy services is quick and easy. Contact us, and we can begin the process of setting up your school on the VocoVision platform. Needs for individual schools vary, but you likely can even use much of your existing equipment!

Our highly trained and qualified professional teletherapists utilize the VocoVision framework to deliver their sessions. Now your school can benefit from the platform, as well. We have a dedicated IT team to customize your school’s VocoVision integration and will provide in-depth training for your school’s team. Get in touch with us today!

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