May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. All month, organizations like E-Therapy are working to raise awareness about our students’ communication disorders and therapy treatments available during their time away from school due to Covid-19.
Unanswered questions about how school will look next year have caused much concern among parents worried that their children will not continue to receive speech and language services. Here are six things that parents need to know from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted so much of our lives, including school-based speech services for students. As students switch to receiving their services via telepractice, parents may have concerns and questions about what to expect. Here are six important things parents need to keep in mind as we all navigate these changes together. For more information about ASHA's public resources during COVID-19, visit https://www.asha.org/public/.
Posted by The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association on Monday, April 13, 2020
1. Children are still entitled to a free and appropriate public education
Guidance from the DOE states that school districts must provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to students with disabilities. Educators can use distance learning opportunities to serve all students, and special education and related services can be provided via computer, internet, or phone.
2. Your child may be able to receive virtual speech and language services during school closures
Teletherapy is a way to deliver speech and language therapy online, and many school districts had a system in place before schools closed. Others have added in a video conferencing model because of the pandemic. If your child is not receiving services, check with your local district.
3. Privacy laws still apply to your child
HIPAA and FERPA laws are still in effect, so that your child’s personal health and educational records cannot be shared without parental consent. Enforcement of compliance could be relaxed though because we are in a state of emergency.
4. Children who regress can rebound!
ASHA states, “Amidst current circumstances, children with speech and language disorders are at a greater risk of regressing educationally than other students. However, students can regain ground; in most cases, a child’s regression will not be permanent.” Good news!
5. Don’t beat yourself up. You are doing your best.
These are weird times, and you are under a lot of pressure. With all the responsibilities you have, SLPs and educators at your child’s school know that you are doing your best to balance everything. We really are in this together.
6. Your SLP is a rockstar, too
School-based SLPS weren’t set up for teletherapy, so it has been a learning curve for them, too. They have lots of the same responsibilities at home as their student’s parents, but they are determined and dedicated to serve their students. It’s a true partnership no matter where the learning takes place.
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Follow E-Therapy on Facebook to get activities you can use with your child. Our teletherapists share new ones every week, and we will continue throughout the summer! Click below to Like Us! Thanks!