Virtual Learning, Therapies Continue at Therapy and Wellness Connection
With Ohio schools closed for the remainder of the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Therapy and Wellness Connection has continued to provide therapy and virtual learning to children with special needs and learning disabilities in the Cleveland metro area.
Since schools have shuttered, many of these students have lost access to the critical services and programs offered by school districts and some outside providers. These students receive a combination of speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, behavior therapy and community integration services.
Although we very much look forward (when it’s safe) to resuming the daily, in-person interaction that is so vital to students with autism, Down syndrome and other special needs, we are proud to have quickly on-boarded our teletherapy and virtual learning services as well as online social groups and functional fitness courses.
School districts have been coping the best they can, but few were prepared for this kind of upheaval. An estimated 15 percent of Ohio’s public school students have special needs and learning disabilities. We have been working to provide additional support where school districts have lacked capacity.
We know regression is a real concern for many parents and just how vital routine and structure is to so many children with special needs. Our hope is that we have made the continuation of these services as seamless as possible. This is a learning curve for us too, so we welcome your feedback.
Teletherapy and virtual learning has been a major adjustment for a lot of our families, many of whom were facing tremendous challenges even before the pandemic. Now, they’re trying to keep their kids on track with academic and social development, often while monitoring other children and working their own jobs. The truth is: There is only so much a person can do in a day. We hope parents will be forgiving of themselves – and their kids – during these unprecedented times.
We have been doing our best to help everyone adjust while also adapting our therapy strategies and services to help our patients and students through online mediums. Our team of therapists, teachers, tutors and intervention specialists is working hard to keep each of our clients on track – developing lesson plans, social stories, visual schedules, fun therapy activities and more.
Tapping into an array of creative solutions, we’re continuing to offer socialization opportunities through social groups and functional fitness. We’re also partnering with Augment Therapy, a wireless technology service designed by a physical therapist. It plugs into a television set and tracks an individual’s movement while they’re playing virtual games designed to target therapy goals. Programs like these keep kids moving, connected, having fun and continuing to meet academic and therapy milestones.
One benefit of teletherapy and virtual learning has been increased parent education. With parents inevitably more hands-on, they are gaining insight into our therapy and education techniques, which improves carryover across environments.
We encourage our families to please let us know what more we can do to help, whether it’s additional support or something like keeping basic supplies in the house. We have always approached our therapy and virtual learning services from a holistic view. That means understanding and assisting with external factors that impact the whole family.
Ultimately, we recognize that parents of children with special needs are weathering the same storm as all of us – but doing so in an entirely different boat. We’re here to offer lifelines wherever we can to help keep you and your child afloat.
Therapy & Wellness Connection – your connection to a life without limitations – provides speech, occupational, ABA and physical therapy to children in Cleveland, Brecksville-Broadview Heights, Akron and surrounding communities. We also offer summer camp, day programs, education services, vocational counseling and more. Call us at (330) 748-4807 or send us an email.
Coronavirus: Special education at home could set some kids ‘way back,’ April 19, 2020, By Jeremy P. Kelley, Dayton Daily News
More Blog Entries:
Teletherapy Now Available From Therapy and Wellness Connection, March 17, 2020, Ohio Special Needs Virtual Learning Blog