Written by: Article written by Sara F. Semesky, MS Ed, CCC-SLP
On March 13, 2020, like so many other businesses, schools, and organizations, the doors of HASA’s Clinic and the Hilgenberg Scottish Rite Childhood Speech and Language Center in Baltimore, Maryland were temporarily closed, in an effort to decrease the spread of COVID-19. For our Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs), the days that followed were spent diligently researching telepractice platforms, materials, and procedures in order to determine the best way to continue safely and effectively connecting with our clients during the pandemic. Now, over two months into this remote model of service delivery, we’re thrilled to report that with the abundant support of the Scottish Rite Masons as well Truist Bank, our clients are continuing to learn and thrive!
Typically, clinicians from HASA/Hilgenberg Scottish Rite Childhood Speech and Language Center offer speech/language screening, evaluation, and therapy services within our Charles Street and Metro Drive clinics as well as within several local private schools. As many of our school-aged clients have shifted to distance-learning for their academic lessons, transitioning to speech/language services via telepractice has been a natural addition to their schedules. Many children, especially children on the Autism Spectrum, are most successful when their days are structured. No matter what speech/language goals we are targeting in therapy, telepractice sessions offer routine, connection, and guidance to our clients as they learn to process and adapt during this uncertain time.
The Scottish Rite Masons quickly and generously provided our SLPs with laptops, iPads, and funding for digital materials in an effort to keep our clients engaged and productive. Additionally, the Truist grant will help us to continue to increase the capacity and sustainability of our telepractice service model, in order to keep our clients connected with their world.
During this period of social distance, when communication and technology have proven to be more vital than ever, we would like to sincerely thank the Scottish Rite Masons and Truist Bank for their generosity and support.