Unity House: providing teletherapy to pre-schoolers


Three-year-old William (Will) Gifford and his dad, Matthew, during a occupational teletherapy session.

MENANDS, N.Y. (NEWS10)- Three-year-old William (Will) Gifford was receiving occupational, speech, and physical therapy through Unity House for learning disabilities through their preschool program when schools shut down due to the coronavirus. Will with help from his dad, Matthew, is still receiving those therapies at home via teletherapy.

Will’s dad and his occupational therapist, Arianna Mielke, say that by working together Will has been able to keep making progress. Mielke says the teletherapy she’s providing may look different but is still meeting the goals of traditional one-on-one therapy.

Matthew took a leave of absence from work to stay home with Will and his two older sisters. He says it took Will a little while to adjust to the twice-weekly teletherapy sessions but they’ve been able to incorporate aspects of therapy into Will’s daily activities which have been beneficial for him.

Mielke says Unity House worked to get families the technology needed to teletherapy but many of them, for one reason or another, were not able to participate in the sessions. She says only half of her clients switched over to teletherapy.

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