Before March 2020, many people didn’t even know what Zoom was or how to use it. Now, it’s a common noun and even a verb. We’ve seen Grammy award winning artists sing in their living room and big time movie stars host virtual proms, but video meetings are being used to provide essential services too.
After the state of Pennsylvania decided to stop face to face Early Intervention services, Pediatric Therapy Professionals, Inc. (PTP) started to come up with a plan. The administrators developed new procedures, and the therapists quickly learned a new system involving new technology. When the state gave the okay to start teleintervention, or teletherapy as those in the medical field call it, PTP hit the ground running. Every existing family was offered the option to continue doing their Early Intervention services over a secure video platform. The majority of PTP’s clients decided to keep getting their high quality services, just over the internet instead of having their therapist physically present.
Lots of parents said, “Wait a minute. How am I going to keep my two year old sitting in front of a computer screen for an hour? That will never happen.” The beauty of Early Intervention, even before COVID-19, was that every PTP therapist was trained in doing home based coaching. They helped the parents help their children with the goals that were important to the family. When it comes to teleintervention, the same is true. The PTP therapist chats with the parent, problem solves any concerns that have come up, guide the parents through play activities with their child, and address any resources the parents might need.
During the statewide stay at home order and the use of teleintervention, PTP and those in Early Intervention have seen children meeting their goals. Parents have commented on how easy teleintervention is. One mom said, “It feels like a regular session, like you’re in my living room helping me and my daughter.” PTP’s clients are reaping the benefits of continuing to receive their services virtually.
As this crisis unfolds and our world changes on a weekly basis, PTP will continue to provide services through teleintervention. Many families don’t realize Early Intervention is still open for business but in a different way. If you have concerns about your toddler, please visit our website, www.pedtp.com for more information. The evaluation is free, and the counties are doing the assessments over video chat as well. You can also connect with an Early Intervention representative in your area by calling 1-800-692-7288.