Teleintervention: Our New Normal for the Time Being by Callie Robinson M. Ed., TSVI
With the onset of the recent pandemic, our home visit team is staying alert and present on the changes and recommendations from EI Colorado. Adjusting and changing to a new medium of home intervention can be difficult and…
With the onset of the recent pandemic, our home visit team is staying alert and present on the changes and recommendations from EI Colorado. Adjusting and changing to a new medium of home intervention can be difficult and cumbersome, however, what a fortunate opportunity we have to be able to continue our services through the use of modern technology. According to a study published by Blaiser, K. M., Behl, D., Callow-Heusser, C, White, K. R., 2013, early intervention is centered around coaching caregivers and believe it or not, through the use of technology, coaching improves and the outcomes can be better as compared to in person home visit intervention.
By using technology as a medium for delivery of early intervention services, parents become the “driver” of implementation. Without relying on another person in the room to demonstrate, parents and caregivers become more keenly aware of the suggestions and instructions by their provider for supporting particular areas of development which was shown to increase their knowledge and competency for implementing suggested strategies. The study by Blaiser, K. M., Behl, D., Callow-Heusser, C, White, K. R., 2013, found that children who received teleintervention for speech therapy had more gains in development than those who received in person therapy. The researchers also expressed there were more parent to child interactions through teleintervention than also through in-person intervention. In essence, the true model of early intervention, for its intended purposes are being carried out through improved coaching by the child’s service providers and the recipient of the child’s primary caregivers. What a win–win for everyone!
Families who are currently being encouraged to use technology as a medium for their child’s early intervention, are developing new skills that enhance their personal computer literacy. As a result, their use of technology in their lives increase and can be generalized to other areas of life. As parents use of technology increases so do their child’s. Children with visual impairments will grow up and learn to use a variety of different technological mediums, it’s part of their curriculum now and forever, and if their parents have had to learn a few new tricks themselves, they too will be able to support the learning process of their own child’s journey through technology.
Furthermore, as suggested in the study, teleintervention is more cost efficient. Expenses were compared between in person home intervention to teleintervention and over time cost differences were “substantial”. It was also reported through the same study that there were fewer cancelations with teleintervention as opposed to in person home visitation because weather nor sickness could interrupt services held over technology.
Learning to adapt and roll with the flow with teleintervention can prove to be very beneficial as discussed. Unfortunately, we are having to do that during a very difficult time in the history of our lives. Through the few virtual home visits, I have been able to conduct so far have proved to be very rewarding and heartfelt. I am very proud of the families and their ability to adjust and work together as a team for their child’s growth. Thanks to the advancements of technology, we are able to connect and continue the support and services which brings much needed peace and a sense of community during these uncertain times without actually being physically present.
Blaiser, K. M., Behl, D., Callow-Heusser, C, White, K. R., (2013). Measuring costs & outcomes of tele-intervention hen Serving families of children who are deaf/hard of Hearing. International Journal of Teleintervention. Vol 5 No.2
Behl, D., Houston, K.T., Guthrie, W.S., & Guthrie, N. (2010). Tele-intervention: The wave of the future fits families’ lives today. Exceptional Parent, 40, 23-28.
Hamren, K. & Quigley, S. (2012) Implementing coaching in a natural environment through distance technologies. The Volta Review, 112(3), 403-407.
Kelso, G., Fiechtl, B., Olsen, S., &Rule, S. (2009). The feasibility of virtual home visits to provide early intervention: A pilot study. Infants and Young Children, 22(4), 332-340.
Callie Robinson M. Ed.
Early Childhood Special Educator
Teacher of Students with Visual Impairment