Over the next several weeks, we will likely see districts turning to “distance learning” where students are completing curriculum and assignments at home. This type of setting is not only available to general education students, but also each district’s special education population. Teletherapy has been growing rapidly in previous years and has been primed for times such as this. Also, state and national licensures for respective disciplines have also seen growth in allowing for teletherapy services across the nation. While chaos and turmoil in educating America during the COVID-19 pandemic has ensued, we can all have peace in knowing our special education students have avenues to receive their services through telepractice in able to stay in compliance with their IEPs.
Students who receive special ed related services, such as speech therapy, counseling, OT, or PT can receive those services online. They can meet with a credentialed therapist over the computer and get the therapy sessions they need to fulfill their IEP plan.
If students have a gap in services due to a school closure or for any other reason, they can receive compensatory time (or extra sessions) to ensure that the IEP requirements are met.
Schools can also offer virtual services to families while the students are at home. If the families decide to set up a time with the therapist for virtual services, then when students return back to school, they will have met their IEP minutes and schools will not have to conduct compensatory time.