Megan Bohlken on speech therapy challenges in the pandemic

Platteville School District speech language pathologist Megan Bohlken describes difficulties of providing therapies to children amid the COVID-19 pandemic via telehealth or with physical distancing.

By Zac Schultz | Here & Now

November 29, 2023

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Megan Bohlken:
So when we first shut down in March of 2020, we finished out that last quarter doing therapy over Zoom, which I was not trained to do telehealth. So that was a whole learning curve, and doing a lot of research and figuring out how to share screens and do interactive games with kids over Zoom and that type of thing. Another challenge during that time when we were zooming is would kids show up to our scheduled time? If they scheduled up, would they be in a room quiet by themselves or did they have their siblings all doing their own Zoom meetings? So those were some of the difficult factors when we were virtual. And then when we came back, yes, I had to get a new table in my room to make sure it was six feet long. And then I had students at one end and me on the other. And when we first came back, I had a plastic barrier between us as well. So it was very difficult and I'd be like, okay, get behind the screen, I'm behind the screen. Okay, we're gonna take our masks off, so you can watch me 'cause that watching of how we make speech sounds is an intricate part of remediation of those errors and that type of thing. So they'd be like, I'm not supposed to take it off sometimes. And it's like, oh, just for a minute, mom said it's okay. So then they would take it off. We'd do a little bit of practice watching, and me making sure they were doing the right things and then we'd put the mask back on and continue on from there.

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