TinyEYE-Online Speech Therapy Telepractice for Students in Schools

TinyEYE is the world’s leading provider
of online speech therapy services. We started in 2005 and we serve schools all over the world, primarily school-age children with
communication disorders. We deliver all of our speech therapy services through the
internet using webcams and headsets and a very sophisticated software program
that enables all of the communication, recording of data, and security behind the system. The way that our system works is that I
log onto the TinyEYE website and then the student logs on to the TinyEYE website
through their Educational Assistant who is at their school site and we share a
game or activity to work on their speech and language targets. Jennifer has some issues with learning,
so when we first came to canada we can to Brunswick School and they said look there’s this program
education program out there that would help Jennifer with some of her speech
language issues. And I said ya lets give it a try and
so she starting about a year ago and we just have noticed an
enormous difference.
Jennifer had substituted the “TH” sound for “S”s and “Z”s and so she was saying a throatless sound, “TH” sound for those words. And so now she’s working really
hard and you hear the “S” sound and “Z” sound in her and she’s confident and she’s
getting more and more used to saying those sounds, and it’s becoming a regular part of her vocabulary. I was learning some games like math games and fun games, like all kinds that might start with “S” “Z” and any kind of words that start with. Children need to effectively communicate in their classroom settings and that’s where their world is at this age, and so one thing I love about TinyEYE is that it allows us to go into schools and help kids that don’t have a Speech Therapist on site and it’s fantastic to see kids come back and say, “Oh, Mrs. Key, I used the ‘L’ sound in my classroom the other day and the teacher said Good job!” Because of the activities and games that we
used they’re taking ownership of their speech and language skills. I also feel like it our children are able to share the experiences with not only their teachers using our online backpacks but also with their families. So, I can video tape a therapy
session and have families watch it, a teacher can watch it. That way we have a great continuum of therapy from our sessions with TinyEYE, to classroom, to home. What we have found with online therapy
is it can be the great equalizer in education. A lot of times in rural and
remote communities students don’t have the opportunity to
participate in the same types of programs a special services as they do
and larger urban centers. And at the end of the day if you cannot
communicate, if you cannot understand your teacher, if you can’t communicate with your
peer group, our hockey coach or whoever it is your you’re working with and talking
to you’re going to struggle with that subject or that underlining content. And that is a major job after
living in a smaller area that doesn’t have access to services. With our program we’ve been able to touch
so many remote communities and families that have no other way of participating
in these things and that for us has been truly remarkable. It’s a great
feeling to know that when you get up in the morning and if you do a great job
thousands of little kids are going to have a better opportunity of having a great
Jennifer has always been quite graphic. She likes picture-books, and she likes
storytelling, and she loves being read to, but she’s never really felt the desire to read because of her you know ability not to be able to sound
some words and so obviously every child who has a bit of a learning issue
is reluctant to get out and do some reading. But since been on the program we find
that she even reads the billboards you know they’ll come up and she’ll actually give it a go. She’ll try sounding the words and if she gets it wrong she’s not
really shy about it. She’ll look at me and say, you know, is that right?
So, you can see that because of the program she’s thinking about how she saying
them and she’s really wanting to give it a go. She’ll even bring books home that we would
think she you wouldn’t normally have brought
home and should be having a room reading. So, I think it’s made her
believe that you know by giving it a go you can do the reading.
So, when we started TinyEYE there was no Facebook, no YouTube, no one had ever done a Skype call none of those things exist in the world. Going out to be school divisions and
talking to Speech Therapists and Directors, and so on it was like we were telling them about Star Trek. It was so far out of their daily lives and daily routines, it was
a completely different world. And we really struggled at at the onset talking
to people about this and and getting them to think that maybe this is a good
idea, maybe this can be an effective method of treatment. And today just about everybody we’ve
talked to now has done an online call, or video Skype
call or something like that, they have communities and relationships on the
internet, half their life is online and it’s no longer leap of faith. It’s like, “Oh ya, this is something else that we can do in make more efficient ways in our
lives and things like that.” So, it’s dramatically change and that’s probably
one of the biggest things that has impacted our organization in the last
two years is just the mindset of the end users, the people that are making
decisions because now they have real life experience that they can associate
with our method of delivering speech therapy. I quite like the idea that there’s somebody
who is a Speech Specialist who can help Jennifer
and the fact that she’s actually from another country or from from America or, you know, some place that’s not even close to here and still be able to help children in
rural Saskatchewan is unique so it’s not just a couple of
hours drive its a plane ride, but she’s able to sit in her office and talk to
Jennifer just like she was talking to Jennifer right here. in rural Saskatchewan. That’s a great opportunity to have such
technology, really.

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