Two-Year-Old Handles Speech Video Visits Like a Rock Star

Posted May 14, 2020 by UVM Health Network

Two-year-old Reed flashes a wide grin at the tablet on his kitchen table in Colchester, Vermont. Alexis St. Croix, a pediatric speech-language pathologist with UVM Health Network's Home Health & Hospice, smiles back and waves at her young client and his mom, Ashley Hurlbut.

For the past couple of months during the pandemic, St. Croix has been meeting with the pair via Zoom video visits. This virtual solution to physical distancing, while not perfect, has shown some surprising advantages over in-person sessions, she says.

“He's a star on the camera, he's really good at interacting this way,” observes St. Croix, who normally travels to work with Reed at his daycare center. “This one-on-one table time, where I'm directly across from him and have his full attention, is something I don't get at childcare because it is a busy setting. And even during the monthly in-home visits, he's sometimes distracted and wanting to play with me.” 

In addition to speech therapy a few times per week, Reed also receives monthly physical and occupational therapy services through Home Health & Hospice. Hurlbut says video visits work well for that too: “He does yoga through Zoom which is really funny.” 

Of course, there are challenges. Hurlbut and her husband also have a six-year-old, so dedicating time to Reed's Zoom therapy sessions while her older son is schooling at home and she is working remotely “is a lot to figure out,” she says. Still, she and St. Croix appreciate the way they have been able to work together during Reed's sessions.

“I've seen more of his progress during these Zoom visits because I can prompt Ashley to work on something with him while they're together at the table,” St. Croix says. “I'm finally seeing how his skills are so dramatically different in the home setting. Now we know what he's capable of, and when he does go back to childcare we know we can work with him there to promote those skills.” 

To learn more about video visits, visit our web page or ask your provider if a video visit is right for you.

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