School, Clinic and Home Therapies
A variety of therapies are available for teaching skills that facilitate success, as well as support students in managing the stress, coping with the effects of the disability on relationships, and advocating for their needs. There are three options for parents in seeking the right therapy and therapists for their child.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, 2004) specifies the following therapies available to students 0-21 that have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) as a result of a diagnosed disability. These services, funded under federal guidelines, are free to all eligible children with disabilities, however not all school districts offer them to homeschoolers.
- speech-language pathology
- audiology services
- physical therapy
- occupational therapy
- therapeutic recreation
- counseling services
- rehabilitation counseling
- Related services also include school health services, social work services, and parent counseling and training when the child is enrolled in the school.
Therapies are also provided privately as a paid service and may be located and vetted through professional organizations and licensing boards in each specialty area. Private therapies may be costly, but may be covered in family health insurance policies.
- The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) asha.org
- American Academy of Private Practice in Speech and Audiology (AAPPSPA) is a professional organization comprised of speech-language pathologists and audiologists who own private practices. aappspa.org
- The American Academy of Audiology is the world’s largest professional organization for audiologist. www.audiology.org
- American Association of Christian Counselors provides a referral service that will help you locate qualified counselors. https://www.aacc.net/
- American Occupational Therapy Association should be able to help you locate a pediatric OT in your area. https://www.aota.org/
- STAR Institute provides a treatment directory by state that includes speech, occupational, and physical therapists. Treatment Directory
- The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) is a professional organization for therapeutic recreational therapist. https://www.atra-online.com/
- National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification is a licensing entity and can assist in locating a therapist in your local area. https://www.nctrc.org/
Speech/Language Therapy About SPL
- Speech Therapy Talk Services is a program developed by a certified ASHA therapist with the goal of providing parents guidance and resources to teach their own children at home. Use their free resources or pay an minimal monthly fee for greater support. Speech Therapy Talk
- Straight Talk, provided through National Challenged Homeschoolers Association Network (NATHHAN), offers 2 different programs, depending on your child’s needs. Straight Talk
- The Lindamood-Bell LiPS is a program that private therapists often use, but may also be purchased as a kit with a teacher’s guide for use at home or implemented as online instruction. Online Instruction
Occupational Therapy About OT
- Different by Design Learning offers OT strategies to work on at home, created by a former special education teacher; coaching is also offered. OT at Home
- Therapy Street provides many OT activities that can be done at home, but does not promote itself as a full program, but rather supplemental to a school OT program. However, 16 skill areas are addressed with plenty of teaching strategies. Therapy Strategies
Physical Therapy About PT
- PediaStaff has endless physical therapy activities and ideas for home and school.
- Your Therapy Source published Therapeutic Activities for Home and School, a book with over forty occupational and physical therapy activities that can be implemented at home.
Recreational Therapy About RT
This is a broad category including hippotherapy, aqua-therapy, music and art therapy, sports therapy, and use of therapy animals. I recommend searching your local area for options by talking with pediatricians, other therapist, and disability specific parent support groups. Once you’ve enrolled your child in a program, the therapist can instruct you on follow up activities at home for greater progress and continuity.
- American Hippotherapy Association
- American Music Therapy Association
- American Art Therapy Association
- Service Animal Association
- Therapy & Service Animals for Children with Special Needs
PediaStaff provides resources by disability category and type of therapy for 20+ disabilities and therapies. Therapy resources
Teletherapy (also referred to as telemedicine or telepractice) offers online speech, occupational, and physical therapy as well as mental health services through live video conferencing on platforms such as Zoom. Sessions are similar to traditional therapy sessions except that the student and therapist interact by live video conferencing. During therapy sessions the student and therapist use webcams, headsets, and an online learning environment to see, hear, and interact with each other.
Teletherapy has been endorsed by American Speech Language and Hearing Association as a viable option that produces equal results to in person therapy. For homeschooling families, this is definitely a more convenient and relaxed environment for children. It also allows parents to be present during the session so they may learn skills to use in follow up practice with their children.
Although major insurance companies are typically not on board with teletherapy, schools have begun to offer this option more frequently because of the pandemic. Thus, if children receive therapy through their local school system and choose teletherapy, the school is responsible for the costs. What is teletherapy
Teleplay offers speech and occupational therapy, counseling and tutoring in reading through a virtual platform.
Global Teletherapy, provides online speech and occupational therapy as well as mental health services. About Global Teletherapy