What is an eHelper?
What is an eHelper?
An eHelper is a person who serves as a facilitator for telepractice delivered therapy. The eHelper serves to eliminate the barriers that inhibit a student from receiving therapy by facilitating the connection between a student and a therapist. eHelpers serve as assistants to the remote therapist by providing the following services:
- Explaining how telepractice therapy works.
- Answering any of the student’s concerns regarding their therapy.
- Setting up equipment and providing technical assistance.
- Aiding the telepractice therapist with the use of other materials.
- Provide cueing or physical assistants.
These tasks completed by the eHelper ensures that the time is maximized for both the therapist and the student.
Do I need an eHelper to provide telepractice therapy?
Using an eHelper for telepractice therapy is not required but provides many benefits. For example, cognitively impaired students may need the support of someone physically present to help manage behavior. This could look like reinforcing positive behavior (i.e., using a token system to enhance compliance with their therapy), emotional support, or assisting the student with maintaining focus during the telepractice session. The therapist may need someone there to provide the required paperwork or physical items necessary for the telepractice session as well.
Please note that the eHelper should only assist as directed by the therapist and not try to intervene without guidance to do so.
Why should I use an eHelper for telepractice speech therapy?
Access to therapy can be challenging for many students, particularly in remote areas where therapy services are scarce. School systems, who have limited resources, may employ a remote therapist to provide telepractice therapy services. The therapist can conduct telepractice therapy sessions, either individually or in a group session. eHelpers serve as an essential support system element for both the therapist and the student or students.
You can read about how eHelpers eliminate barriers for speech therapy in rural Ohio school-based speech therapy here.
eHelpers help remote school-based therapy sessions. They help facilitate the session as well as provide any needed support. While eHelpers are not considered essential, they provide needed support to both the remote therapist and the students receiving telepractice therapy services. School systems employing telepractice therapy services for their students may want to consider which adults in the school are available and willing to serve as eHelpers for students.