My name is David Shipps. I became interested in speech telepractice over a period of years. While telemedicine for MDs and psychologists had been in use for years, I had completed my graduate education before speech telepractice was as accessible for clients and affordable for clinicians and even hospitals and other institutions for the delivery of speech and language services.
It was at a workshop given by Dr. Wayne Secord, PhD, one of the coauthors of the CELF and a true mentor in the field of speech-language pathology, that I asked him about telepractice. He referred me to Mike Towey, an SLP in Maine who coincidentally had been the president of the Maine state speech-language association and taught the voice disorders course while I was a graduate student at the University of Maine. He said essentially that Mike was the person he relied on for telepractice. I contacted Mike and enrolled in the next two-day workshop, the only American Telemedicine Association (ATA) accredited program designed to teach speech therapists and administrators how to deliver speech therapy online. (see my notes from that workshop in the blog section of our website)
I attended that workshop in June, 2013 and have provided speech-language therapy online since that time in Arizona, California and Florida, both virtually in children’s homes and in schools. My experience with telepractice is that doing therapy online is at least as effective as if we were sitting next to each other. Because of the size of computer monitors and screens, I find we are limited to no more than three students at a time, but other than that, there really are no limitations when comparing on-the-ground and over-the internet therapy delivery, regardless of disability or age.
I had the good fortune to take a course in my graduate program at the University of Maine at Orono taught by Dr. Candice Bray. She introduced us to the skills we would need to emphasize in teaching children with language-based reading disabilities how to be better readers. She also introduced us to a company called Lexia Learning, with which I have had a successful working relationship for years.
Again, thanks for visiting our site! Please feel free to contact either Sam or myself, David Shipps, through our secure contact form.