Our Role and Responsibility: Navigating Through COVID-19
During this stressful time, our foremost concern is that of your health and your family's health.
We have decided that we are going to close our Rescue, Davis, and Roseville clinics for the next week in order to ensure that the available therapy equipment follows the updated CDC guidelines. We will likely decide to stay closed longer, but will decide later in the week as more information and recommendations from authorities becomes available.
We want to continue serving as safely and effectively as possible in the coming weeks. As a start, we are offering all of our families the opportunity to switch to on-line services immediately. Either your therapist or our administrative team will be calling you Monday to discuss your options and preferences for continuing or suspending service.
Our GHC staff has training and experience with online service delivery and have been using this model with many families for almost 10 years. We use the Zoom platform, which is very user-friendly for families. You simply sign up for a free account with Zoom when we send a link/invite for you to join your therapy session. The sessions are secured and HIPAA compliant.
To further help all families, in any way we can, to manage this time when school is not in session, we have made all of our Sensory Motor Activity Books free. These contain activities for children with skills at the preschool through the junior high level. You can grade the difficulty level of the activities to create the "just right challenge" and help each child feel successful and challenged at the same time. The activities target the areas of posture, visual perception, fine motor coordination, visual motor coordination, ocular motor coordination, handwriting, motor planning and sensory modulation. Download them here: https://www.ghcot.com/sensory-motor-activity-books/
More than anything, we wish you and your family health, peace, and hope in this stressful time. We will keep you updated on our plans to re-open our centers. We are here to answer your questions and serve in any way we can.
1. What does online therapy look like?
Your child will log into the telehealth therapy room at their scheduled time. Our provider will be ready in front of his/her computer remotely. This provider will be perfectly matched to support your child’s specific areas of need, and trained to engage him or her in meaningful instructional activities, which will also be fun and enjoyable.
2. Are therapy sessions really effective?
In one word, yes! Online services are extremely effective. In fact, research studies show that therapy services help children make progress on their goals at the same rate as services delivered onsite. Our team is trained and will provide the recipe for a child’s success by combining compassion with out-of-the-box thinking. Their extensive experience combined with our training program and resource library of evidenced-based activities combine to make therapy fun, functional, and effective.
3. How do I know if my child is making progress?
Our on-going documentation and data analysis allow us to consistently measure our child’s progress. We believe that collaboration with parents and caregivers is key to your child’s progress. There are ongoing discussions about your child's progress. We also follow up with additional suggestions for activities throughout the week. From the moment your child logs on, we are continuously addressing goals and monitoring progress.
4. What are the benefits of doing therapy on-line?
There are many benefits to online therapy, which include:
5. What if my child does not want to participate in any of the activities?
While we can’t say this never happens, it is a rare occurrence. Our children are growing up in a digital environment which is second nature for them. We promote participation by making sure activities provide “just the right challenge” and are interesting. We also can weave in positive reinforcement through behavioral supports. Furthermore, we can control the online environment to promote each child’s success.
6. Are there individuals who are not good candidates for on-line therapy?
Our primary goal is to set our clients up for success, which means empowering them to grow and learn, both in session and on their own. We take each individual’s abilities and needs into account when determining if online therapy is appropriate. We encourage and expect active participation from the caregiver to help your child pay attention and engage. This also helps us to collaborate with you to generalize skills in the home in a meaningful way. We can also help our clients by consulting and training families on how to help their child. We will support every child and their family in any way we can! We look forward to learning about your preferences and goals in these sessions.
7. You say there is research that proves on-line therapy works. Where can I see this research?
There are over 100 research studies to date on the use of telepractice to deliver therapy and educational support services, with that number growing. This innovative field has gotten a lot of attention from the research community because the potential to help more families is so great. On-line therapy services started over 15 years ago. Since then, research studies have shown progress on speech goals that are at least equal to in-person therapy, for example progress on speech goals as indicated here: (Theodoros, D., Telepractice in Speech-Language Pathology: The Evidence, the Challenges, and the Future, 2011).
8. How are you different from other on-line service providers?
It is our combination of passion, compassion and experience that has always sets us apart from our competitors. Our team embraces a passion to always do what is right for each client, while recognizing their competence and supporting their challenges. Combine this with our well-established experience in the “science” of therapy and online instruction and we believe you will find us uniquely qualified to handle your needs.
Growing Healthy Children Therapy Services offers comprehensive, multi-disciplinary services in order to support continuity of care. This continues whether sessions are in person or online. We also work hard to support our team with ongoing continuing education in order to make sure that we are at the forefront of this exciting path of hope and progress.
Growing Healthy Children Therapy Services is not about trying to replace in-person services, but to make quality support available to more children. We will always do what’s best for your child, helping you to choose the appropriate option for your family.
9. What kind of technology do I need to get started?
An external webcam and headphones with a microphone are recommended to support quality interaction with your providers. You will need a high-speed internet connection. We can help you identify whether your Internet connection is fast enough to enable smooth graphic, 3DS models, animation, and video encoders/streaming videos without delays and choppiness. Our system will prompt you to download Zoom and software upgrades as needed.
10. Is there anything else I need? Supplies?
While our team already has many of the visuals and therapy activities, it will be helpful to have a pencil and paper in close proximity. On occasion a parent or caregiver will be asked to print a document ahead of time. We also use items that are commonly found around the classroom or house. Our team will work closely with you to gather the appropriate supplies prior to or during a teletherapy session.
11. Do you conduct assessments?
The best assessment addresses your family’s concerns and identifies your child’s needs. Our aim is to learn more about your child in order to facilitate progress. We do complete formal, standardized assessments online for speech therapy, as these tests have been normed for on-line administration. There are many direct assessment activities we can do on-line to determine your child’s progress across all therapy services. For our other disciplines, we can perform dynamic assessments and parent questionnaires to determine areas of need for your child. Everything we do is individualized to the child and your family needs and goals.
12. Does on-line therapy comply with industry requirements?
Yes, ASHA was one of the first governing agencies to affirm the use of online therapy services to provide therapy. Since then, AOTA and APTA have also recognized the use of the online delivery model. Particularly during challenges similar to what we are facing with COVID-19, governing bodies and insurers are working proactively to provide continuity of care for families who cannot access in-person services.
13. Are sessions monitored for quality?
Yes, our leadership team supports each of our therapists by observing sessions periodically and with regular mentoring. This ensures the best quality of therapy for our clients and also helps our team to continue to grow and learn. Privacy is respected and families will always be asked if they are comfortable with another provider observing prior to the observation. Growing Healthy Children Therapy Services also encourages collaboration and ongoing feedback to ensure every child’s progress. Additionally, we may ask a family to allow us to record a session to both provide training opportunities and feedback to therapists, but also to document baseline data and progress.
14. How is privacy and confidentiality ensured?
Our online platform is a secure platform that complies with established FERPA and HIPAA guidelines. Our team is licensed and credentialed and goes through an extensive background check.
We help children of all ages with a variety of special needs.
Through our interdisciplinary team and unique facilities, we offer quality:
Our team takes the time to learn about each family and their unique challenges in order to provide hope and support.
And check out our blog for helpful hints and fun activities to do with your children!