Page 62 - FSJ June 2012

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62
F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / J U N E 2 0 1 2
S
CHOOLS
S
UPPLEMENT
dependents going abroad.
Research continues to prove that
telepractice is an equally effective
model when compared with tradition-
al face-to-face therapy. ASHA’s posi-
tion is: “Telepractice is an appropriate
model of service delivery for the pro-
fessions of speech-language pathology
(and audiology). Telepractice may be
used to overcome barriers of access to
services caused by distance, unavail-
ability of specialists and/or subspecial-
ists, and impaired mobility.”
Coming into Its Own
Companies and individuals have
developed online programs that deliv-
er services to students and other
clients that include occupational ther-
apy, physical therapy, speech therapy
and aural rehabilitation, as well as reg-
ular and special education. There are
differences in the way they operate,
but what these companies and indi-
viduals share is that they offer access
to therapy and educational services
over the Internet with a live person, in
real time that focuses on the individ-
ual’s particular needs, regardless of
where he or she physically resides.
Just like the special education
teacher or speech therapist in a
school, online providers target specif-
ic deficits that impair an individual’s
ability to succeed in social or academ-
ic situations. For example, an occupa-
tional therapist may assist a child with
handwriting, directly increasing that
child’s ability to progress successfully
in any school. Online teachers teach
via a virtual classroom, providing
remedial academic instruction online.
Through networking, I have met
educational consultants who provide
special education services, both in
person and online. They work with
schools to assist in the development of
curriculum modifications that a child
might need to succeed in the regular
education classroom of, say, an inter-
national school.
Many early intervention programs
and schools that find themselves
unable to fill special education va
cancies are now turning to teleprac-
tice. Dr. Jana Cason of Spalding
Telepractice is tearing
down the barriers
between full access
and no access for
children with special
educational needs.