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  • Amy O'Connell

What spending a week in the world of SLP Telepractice has taught me...

As a #travellingSLP, most of my day is spent driving from home to home, lugging bags of toys and games back and forth between my trunk and the kitchen tables and living room floors of my therapy kids. On a daily basis, I catch glimpses of tiny faces waiting in their living room windows and often hear “Amy is here!” well before I have turned off my engine. I LOVE my practice.

Enter COVID-19.

As my community retreated this week and #socialdistancing became the new normal for the foreseeable future, I watched my practice grind to a sudden halt. No longer able to see my clients in their homes, I found myself left to google “teletherapy how-to” while searching for ways to support students from afar. I spent countless hours scouring my electronic materials and staring at my games and toys, working to find ways to adapt some “old faithfuls” to a telepractice platform. My garage-turned-office suddenly transformed to “teletherapy central”, where an old tripod holds my iPad-turned-document-camera and an old lamp serves as my on-camera lighting. A sign hangs on the door to remind my three boys “session in progress” and that mom will be available soon…

Whoa. What a week. But, you know what? I survived. My clients laughed. We played our games. We practiced our targets. We connected. Was it the way we usually do session? Not entirely. Did it work. Yes.

Having had a few days to now catch my breath, this is what spending a week in the world of teletherapy has taught me…

Kids are resilient and incredibly adaptable.

There is an immense network of SLP support out there. Our pioneering #teleslpeeps deserve a whole sheet of gold stars for their support during this pandemic. You guys are my heroes.

Nothing is truly impossible – sometimes you just need to take a step back and get creative.

If you find yourself lucky enough to be pushed outside of your comfort zone, embrace it. Some pretty great stuff happens there.

A little bit of play is good for the soul


And…

Human interaction and communication is EVERYTHING.

I have been asked whether I plan to continue with telepractice once the world goes back to “normal”. To be honest, I don’t know. I am a pretty old-school, face-to-face, play-based Speech-Language Pathologist. But, having lived outside of my comfort zone for a week now, I may just consider staying here a little while longer...


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