Idaho district implements online speech therapy

Bonneville Joint School District 93 starting its third year of online speech therapy with over 200 students

speech-therapySchool districts spanning large areas, like 10,000-plus student Bonneville Joint School District 93 in Idaho Falls, Idaho, often struggle to hire and retain enough fully qualified speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to serve their widely dispersed schools. To more fully and frequently serve students with special needs, Bonneville Joint School District 93 is using PresenceLearning’s online therapy services.

“I was a skeptic at first. How would we get a student to learn language and speech articulation through a remote therapist on a computer?” said Rex Miller, director of Special Education. “It has been interesting to see the games they can play on the computer and how excited the kids get about it. This is pretty powerful.”

After two full years of online speech therapy in the district, student outcomes in special education are at an all-time high. More than 90 percent of the district’s students using PresenceLearning have made progress toward their Individual Education Plan (IEP) goals.

Next page: How online speech therapy benefits students and school districts

This progress also helps students achieve outside of the classroom. Connor, a second grade student in the district, has a hearing weakness in one of his ears that was affecting his articulation and speech and ultimately his ability to be understood by his peers.

During his online speech sessions, Connor hears a sound and then articulates it back to his remote therapist, helping him make strides toward better speech. Before working on his speech online, Connor had difficulty making friends, but with consistent, frequent online speech therapy, he is now understood and is much more social.

PresenceLearning’s online speech therapy and other related services provide schools with web-based access to a network of live, highly-qualified, fully licensed speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, and mental health professionals who are available whenever and wherever they are needed.

PresenceLearning also offers online assessments for both speech and occupational therapy, as well as social/emotional/behavioral assessments.

By partnering with PresenceLearning, school districts can address capacity issues related to acute and chronic shortages of qualified clinicians, reduce high caseloads for onsite personnel, reduce their backlog of assessments, improve student outcomes and become more efficient. PresenceLearning also offers access to technical specialists, as well as culturally and linguistically diverse clinicians.

PresenceLearning has delivered half a million live online therapy sessions to students in public school districts, charter schools and virtual schools of all sizes nationwide.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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