This is the story of a student, a mom, and a clinician and her aide. It’s about how change can be scary, even if you accept that it is a part of life, and especially if you’ve been given a lifetime of reasons to be skeptical. It’s also about building relationships, the long, slow road toward trust, and how this work can be rewarded in the most unexpected ways.

When Katie learned that her son Gavin’s communication services would be delivered via a hybrid telepractice model for the year, she was less than thrilled. Gavin, mostly non-verbal and a beginning AAC user, had complex communication needs that were a challenge for therapists who were in the same room with him, let alone someone on a computer screen. His mom was vocal about her concerns and voiced them to the district, the school, and to her new SLP, Magdelene.

Magdalene listened. She intuitively understood Katie’s worries were not about her abilities as a therapist, but instead were based in a universal human truth: a mother’s concern for the well-being of her child. Magdalene’s compassion led her to connect Katie not with piles of research about telepractice efficacy, official position statements, or professional literature, but with another mom.

And as it turns out, that one connection opened the door to a whole new world for Gavin.

Hello There, our hybrid telepractice model, allowed Katie to collaborate with her son’s SLP and assistant in a way that she never thought possible. It enabled his team to select and work on goals that were functional and meaningful to his life both inside and outside the school walls. Perhaps most importantly, it helped Gavin to make significant progress toward a more dynamic and independent future.

Telepractice isn’t the right fit for every child, every school, or even every district. But we’ll never stop being amazed and delighted by who it is right for and the power of a single relationship to open limitless doors for students.