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Episode #019: The Power of Teletherapy to Help Students Here and Abroad – A Talk with Erin Long
Since July 2010, Erin Long has been the president and founder of Worldwide Speech. Parents who are living abroad may find themselves seeking specialized speech therapy, but for whatever reason, they’re struggling to find speech language therapists in the countries they’re living in. That’s where Erin’s company steps in. Her services have expanded over the last decade, and she calls herself “a special ed company for anyone living abroad”. Erin spent a lot of time proving that teletherapy can work, but now it’s what people want.
Have you ever dealt with the paperwork for moving an IEP abroad? Erin says that it loses its status as a legal document since it’s created under the auspices of American law. Sometimes companies are reluctant to send employees overseas if there’s a child in the household with an IEP because complying with it in a foreign country can be incredibly hard. Erin’s company provides speech therapy, OT, and special education for children all over the world, no matter where their parents’ jobs take them.
Even for rural Americans, teletherapy is a viable option. Children with mobility issues can benefit from virtual services, and older teens who may be reluctant to admit they still go to therapy can see a therapist privately from their home. For some of Erin’s clients, virtual services offer support and a lifeline for the main caretaker who was previously isolated in a community that had no services of any kind.
Therapists and teachers have had to adjust in the last year, and it’s been inspiring to watch that pivot! If you want more tips and strategies on how to use teletherapy effectively, sign up for my FREE webinar on supporting children with autism virtually.
- Rehabilitative services all over the world are just not equal to American standards, so the demand for American therapists is high.
- Providing services across multiple time zones can lead to some interesting scheduling problems, but with a little planning, families and providers can flex with this challenge.
- Even stateside, virtual services can fill a niche for students who aren’t mobile or who live remotely.
Erin Long is the President and founder of Worldwide Speech. She developed the idea for for the company after opening independent practices for expatriate children in both Mexico and Brazil. Through her experience with these practices, Erin became aware of the large, but dispersed demand for native English-speaking speech pathologists among the expatriate community and realized that the key to meeting this demand was teletherapy. Erin is certified by the American Telemedicine Association in telepractice and for the last five years she has been a leader in teletherapy within the speech-pathology community. Erin is an active member of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association’s (ASHA) steering group for the development of teletherapy policy and training.
Erin is currently licensed to practice speech-language therapy in California, Virginia and Maryland. She is the recipient of the ASHA’s prestigious Continuing Education Award for her dedication to training above and beyond the requirements for maintaining her credential. Erin also has experience working in U.S. school districts in multiple states as well as in private clinical settings. Erin is a graduate of UCLA and California State University of Los Angeles.
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