Teletherapy Tips + Tricks

Nothing like a pandemic to dive into a whole new territory of teletherapy, right? For those brave souls out there launching into teletherapy without any prior experience, this space is meant to give you lots of little nuggets that can spark new ideas and new pathways to design teletherapy sessions that are engaging and interactive.

Whether you're an SLP, OT, or PT, our goal is to collect tips and tricks from everyone out there and put them all in one place. Maybe you will like one idea, but not another. That's ok. Take what you need and leave the rest.

The trick with teletherapy is finding your own unique blend of tools and resources that allow you to meet your clients where they are across the barrier of a computer screen. That blend of tools will look different for every clinician and for every client. And that's the beautiful thing! There is no one right way to do teletherapy. It's all about getting creative, trying new things, and learning what works best for you and your clients.

There are a large number of teletherapy platforms out there, and each have their own pros and cons. You can explore all of the different options here and get a sense for what will serve your needs best.

There are numerous national and state regulations regarding billing and privacy rules. Please refer to your local regulations as well as individual insurance companies for specific guidance on those topics. Other great resources to help get you started with rules and regs are your state board, state associations, and national associations. Our goal here is to tackle the nitty gritty of actually designing the therapy session.

Therapy Insights Teletherapy Tips and Tricks Video #1: Using SketchBook and PDFelement to elevate your screen interaction power.

Our first how-to video explains how to use two pieces of software to make your therapy sessions a little more interactive using two free pieces of software.


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Again, this type of screen sharing setup is most ideal with a dual monitor setup, like this. Dual monitors allow you to have more screen space real estate while also fully seeing your client and attending to their nonverbal cues.

 Video #1 references the following links:

Free gameboards from Therapy Insights
If you're looking for simple, easy to view, plain gameboards that can be adapted for interactive screen use using PDFelement (see below), download these 5 gameboards. This is a zipped file that will unzip to include both JPG versions (for SketchBook or other programs that read JPGs) and PDF versions (for PDFelement or other programs that read PDFs).

Wacom Intuos tablet
This tool allows you to easily write on screen with a pen-to-paper experience. If you are working on a laptop or desktop computer (not a tablet), this can help you transform your ability to be interactive by being able to write on screen legibly (without using your trackpad). We recommend the Wacom Intuos tablet, but there are other brands and options out there.

Autodesk SketchBook
This free software (Mac or PC) allows you to turn your entire screen into a whiteboard with a large range of creative tools. You can also import JPGs (but not PDFs). So if you find a JPG of a picture online, you can easily paste that into this program and use all the creative pens, brushes, highlighters, stamps, and other tools to work with that image. In the video above, we also talk about how to create multiple pages of whiteboards that you can toggle between.

PDFelement by Wondershare
This free demo software (and all you need is the demo) allows you to pull up PDF documents and draw on them. You can easily rotate images and resize to fit the screen. Using the pen tool, you can write or draw, or turn the pen into a highlighter. This is a great tool for completing paper/pencil tasks with people or going over health literacy education documents together.

Free online spinner
Edit this spinner to include different exercises or speech sounds. Click once and watch it spin!

Virtual dice and coin flip
A simple visual in case you need to roll the dice or flip a coin together!

Video #2: How to share a marked up PDF file with a client at the end of your teletherapy session

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Virginia Ingram shows how to use Therapy Insights Literacy Packs in the context of teletherapy

Other tips and tricks shared by the clinicians of the Therapy Insights community:

Cue Cards for Video Meetings by These cards can be printed, cut, and laminated and used as non-verbal cues during teletherapy sessions.

For pediatric SLPs: How to use interactive game boards and spinners with Brooke Dibley at Simply Speaking SLT.

Gemiini for those working with kids with ASD. Gemiini uses a play-based learning approach that breaks down information into understandable and digestible bites to teach speech, language, reading, social skills, and life skills. Gemiini does this by giving focus to one concept at a time, and presenting that information in a video session based format that we call Discrete Video Modeling which fits easily within our modern lifestyles. This makes Gemiini an ideal solution for young children and people with special needs like Autism, Down syndrome, Speech Delay, Stroke, and others.

Ultimate SLP- $12.95/month library of resources for teletherapy for pediatric SLPs.

What else can we add to our list? Please send us your favorite tips to share!



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