Michigan Schools Adopt Online Speech Therapy For Students with Special Needs

Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System (MHPSAS) in Muskegon Heights, Michigan has adopted PresenceLearning to provide 60 of its students with online speech therapy.

“While there was some skepticism at first about switching to online speech therapy, we have been truly impressed with what we’ve seen,” said Glenda Robinson-Scott, supervisor of special education at MHPSAS. “Most important, students are truly excited to go to their therapy sessions because of the high levels of interaction and engagement, as well as the close rapport they have developed with their online therapist from PresenceLearning.”

MHPSAS, which is part of Mosaica Education Inc.’s network of charter schools and online academies, is using PresenceLearning with students at all four of its sites – two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. MHPSAS implemented the online service in the beginning of the 2013-14 school year and has already seen positive outcomes. “We have definitely seen some breakthroughs,” said Kirk Sanford, a paraprofessional at the district who works directly with students during their online sessions.

“A normal session lasts 30 minutes, but students have actually asked them to go for longer,” Sanford continued. “Based on individual student needs, the sessions cover a lot of topics and techniques in a really unique and engaging way.”

This past year, PresenceLearning added occupational therapy (OT) and online assessments to their service offering. PresenceLearning also offers access to technical specialists, as well as culturally and linguistically diverse speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists.