I’m going to just say it: COVID19 has changed things. TeleAAC became a “thing” years ago but because of COVID now needs to know how to do the job they felt comfortable or maybe even only borderline comfortable doing it live, but now, online.
Last month I spoke about this during the Prenkte Romich Company’s webinar “TeleAAC Evaluations”
To break it down into a few short steps, I wanted to share 5 things that help me along the way.
- Device selection.
If you know your devices well (big and small, cheap and expensive, dedicated and non-dedicated), you will be able to select some devices based off of the client’s case history / profile already reviewed.
- Day & Time = scheduling
The beauty of teletherapy to me is hopefully it provides you slightly more flexibility. Now, perhaps you could see that client during a time before you were traveling between clients. Or perhaps you can see that client now when their caregiver or significant other can be present where previously in person that wasn’t an option. Schedule it around them and not you. Schedule it around a time that works, they’re awake, they’re interested and motivated.
Learn greenscreen. Learn screenshare. Learn document camera usage. Research attention grabbing activity on TeachersPayTeachers (TPT) or boomcardslearning or other googled avenues. Transition your activities and games into a digitized format. I once saw a therapist turn her own CandyLand game into a digital version with Google Drawing. It was great! So Creative!
Ok, so I’ll be honest. TeleAAC does require more time in preparation for me. I can’t grab something and run with it. Overpreparation is a must. This requires conversations with the support person on the other side of the screen. This requires devices to be programmed prior to the session. Therefore you need to know the words you are hoping to target before the session starts.
Let the support person (e.g. caregiver, staff, teacher, parent) assist you in the data you need. Providing them data sheets ahead of time and explaining what you are looking for during the evaluation process and why will help you keep the support person in your court. And obviously, the data is so important for your report and for your fight to get this AAC system funded!