Q&A for Parents


"Lighthouse Therapy services are provided by experienced therapists who care about students first! We partner with parents and educators to bring out the best in each student!" 

Erin O'Connell, School Psychologist
What does Lighthouse Therapy do?
Lighthouse Therapy provides online interactive therapy related services for special education students from PreK-12. Our services include Speech-Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Behavioral and Mental Health Services. These services include direct, group, makeup, and consultation services as well as screenings and tests. Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs), Occupational Therapists (OTs), Licensed Social Workers (LSWs), and School Psychologists (School Psychs) provide high quality, evidenced-based services on our web-based secure platform, using the latest in online tools and activities.
How does online therapy work?
Online therapy works on a secure, HIPAA, FERPA, and COPPA compliant video conferencing platform. The services are provided live with both the student and the clinician logged and interacting with the use of high-quality video and audio feed. The sessions are done in real time and are provided according to the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). All of our fully licensed and credentialed therapists are trained and familiar with online services and provide engaging and relevant activities based on the needs of your child. An on-site student support specialist brings the students to therapy sessions, logs the students into the session, assists with clinical, behavioral, and technical needs during the therapy sessions.
What equipment is used?
A computer or Ipad with an Internet connection, an up-to-date browser (Chrome, Firefox, or Safari are supported), a webcam, and an audio headset. Setup is minimal; the platform is entirely web-based, and there is no software to install or maintain.
What are the technical specifications for online therapy through Lighthouse Therapy?

Lighthouse Therapy is compatible with:

  • Google Chrome version 28 and later on any device except iPad or iPhone
  • Firefox version 25.0.1 and later on any device except iPad or iPhone
  • Safari on Mac macOS 10.12 Sierra or later
  • Safari on iPad or iPhone iOS 11 or later

Our online test will check the camera, mic, and Internet connection to see how well the device will work with Lighthouse Therapy. If others using the Internet connection are watching a video or uploading a file this could reduce the video quality.

How does the quality of Lighthouse Therapy services compare to face to face services?

The effectiveness of telepractice as a service delivery model in the schools is well documented. Online teletherapy services outcomes are equal to face to face therapy services. Telepractice has been studied extensively and our therapists report and have experienced similar outcomes consistently.

Gabel, R., Grogan-Johnson, S., Alvares, R., Bechstein, L., & Taylor, J. (2013). A field study of telepractice for school intervention using the ASHA NOMS K-12 database. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 35, 44–53.

Grogan-Johnson, S., Alvares, R., Rowan, L., & Creaghead, N. (2010). A pilot study comparing the effectiveness of speech language therapy provided by telemedicine with conventional on-site therapy. Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 16, 134–139.

Grogan-Johnson, S., Gabel, R., Taylor, J., Rowan, L., Alvarex, R., & Schenker, J. (2011). A pilot exploration of speech sound disorder intervention delivered by telehealth to school-age children. International Journal of Telerehabilitation, 3, 31–42.

Grogan-Johnson, S., Schmidt, A., Schenker, Alvares, R., Rowan, L., & Taylor, J. (2013). A comparison of speech sound intervention delivered by telepractice and side-by-side service delivery models. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 34, 210–220.

Lewis, C., Packman, A., Onslow, M., Simpson, J., & Jones, M. (2008). A Phase II trial of telehealth delivery of the Lidcombe Program of Early Stuttering Intervention. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 17, 139–149.

McCullough, A. (2001). Viability and effectiveness of teletherapy for pre-school children with special needs. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 36, 321–326.

In addition, parents, clients, and clinicians report satisfaction with telepractice as a mode of service delivery. Parents of students at Lighthouse Therapy have also noted similar satisfaction with our online services.

Crutchley, S., & Campbell, M. (2010). Telespeech therapy pilot project: Stakeholder satisfaction. International Journal of Telerehabilitation, 2, 23–30.

McCullough, A. (2001). Viability and effectiveness of teletherapy for pre-school children with special needs. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 36, 321–326.

How are the therapists qualified?

We are a therapist run company that hires only highly qualified therapists. All of our therapists are fully credentialed providers with experience working in the school setting. SLPs must have a Master’s degree; OTs must have a grandfathered Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctorate degree; and our behavioral and mental health professionals must have Master’s degrees. All of our professionals are fully licensed.

Beyond how the clinician looks on paper, our therapists must have a heart for children and the clinical knowledge and independent personal skills to deliver the best possible outcomes for our students. We offer paid orientation and one on one mentoring for the therapists. They are knowledgeable about our services and platform; ready to deliver engaging and caring services. We encourage and support continuous growth and improvement through networking and random session observations and documentation audits. We encourage our staff to ask questions and give feedback. Our CEO often says, “The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask. If you don’t know the answer, then you need to ask the question.”

Our goal is to support our therapists in such a way that they are free to provide top-level services to all students. If our therapists feel they are appreciated, they then spend all their energy delivering the kind of online services and teamwork that impact the outcomes of the students through the therapy process.

How does this benefit children and families?

Lighthouse Therapy Staff truly cares about the children and families we serve! We want to make sure that every child gets the services they need to be successful!

Children love technology. They don’t know a world that does not include digital games, information, and learning. Many times the students are more comfortable with computers than their parents! Often, the students are less intimidated by meeting a new therapist online than having to go with a new unfamiliar adult to the therapy room.

Parents have direct access to their children’s therapist creating better communication and more opportunities for interaction. The parents are able to log in and observe the online session from a convenient location. Service providers can upload homework, email the parents, share therapeutic activities and outcomes directly through the platform. This allows parents a transparent view of what their child is doing and the progress they are making. It also allows for greater carry over outside of the therapy session. Students and parents can also upload homework, have a virtual “show and tell” with therapists, and develop a deeper team approach to the therapy services they are being provided. There is a higher level of engagement available with the tools provided through the Lighthouse Therapy Platform.

What evidence supports telepractice services for school-age students?

“There are no inherent limits to where telepractice can be implemented as long as services comply with national, state, institutional, and professional regulations and policies.” ASHA. (n.d.) “Telepractice”. ASHA. Retrieved from https://www.asha.org/practice-portal/professional-issues/telepractice/ American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA)

“In addition, practicing according to standards and guidelines published in several AOTA official documents can promote the safe and effective delivery of occupational therapy services via telehealth technology. By adhering to the highest level of ethical standards, occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants can join other health care providers in using technological advances to better serve their clients.” American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). (n.d.) “Telehealth”. The american occupational therapy association advisory opinion for the ethics commission. Retrieved from https://www.aota.org/-/media/Corporate/Files/Practice/Ethics/Advisory/telehealth-advisory.pdf

Telepractice services have been recognized as an effective form of therapy by all 50 states.

What tools are available on the Lighthouse Therapy platform?
The Lighthouse Therapy Platform provides a plethora of tools and activities that is constantly expanding. We have a full complement of activities that can be used to create sessions tailor made for students. These tools include Flashcards, PDFs , Word Documents , PowerPoint , Matching Games, and Board Games. Our interactive white board allows all participants to point, draw, type, and use more than 4,800 built-in movable icons (emojis). The white board can be used independently or right on top of any of the resources (card sets, pdfs, etc.), screen share, or even videos. And the best feature: save and load white boards; up to 50 saved boards per student!
How many children can participate in a group session?
At Lighthouse Therapy, we limit the group size to a max of 3 students on separate computers or a max of 2 students on the same computer. Group sessions can be a very effective and successful way for students to receive the highest benefit from therapy sessions. However, we always do what is clinically appropriate for students based on their individualized needs. As professional clinicians, it is our opinion that a group larger than 3 students is difficult to effectively execute in the telepractice model. Thus, we recognize this limitation and proceed accordingly.
Are all students appropriate for online therapy services?
Teletherapy services are appropriate for the majority of students needs, including preschoolers, severely impaired students, and students with AAC devices. There are occasions where an in-person therapist may be warranted. These cases are rare but we will ALWAYS recommend the best clinical situation for a student’s needs.
Why are school districts using online therapy?

The reason school districts have chosen online therapy are as varied as the number and types of districts. Originally, schools were choosing to use online therapy as a “last resort” when an on the ground therapist was not available as is often the case due to the critical shortage of skilled clinicians. However, there has been a shift in recent years, as districts have begun to partner with online providers and seeing the power and effectiveness of teletherapy services. Many use a blended model of in person and online services to meet their needs. Others have started with teletherapy as a stop-gap measure and have been so pleased with the results that they have continued to use online services exclusively.

At Lighthouse Therapy, we are solutions focused and want to provide services that will work with your district’s model, whatever that may be.

How secure is your platform so the student information is kept private?
The Lighthouse Therapy Platform is committed to you and your client's security and privacy. We utilize many security measures to protect confidential information including at-rest encryption and 256-bit in-transit data encryption. We also meet and follow all HIPAA, FERPA, and COPPA policies including those related to personal identifiable information.
Can parents observe their child’s session?
Yes! Parents are encouraged to observe their student’s session should they wish to participate. They will be provided a secure login to join their student’s session from wherever they are at the time of the session. As with any session, they will have to log in using an approved web browser. Parents will only have access to their student’s information and active sessions.
How are students and therapists matched?
Our therapists are matched with students based on the states in which they are licensed, the type of services needed, hours required, and schedule matching. We can match a therapist who specializes in an area of need for students not based on geographical availability. This is one of the best features of online services! The assigned provider will see your students based on the service requirements stated on the students IEP, and will develop a rapport similar to working together on-site. Students, parents, and districts can often request the same provider year after year, and we have bilingual providers who can meet the needs of English Language Learners and American Sign Language students.
What is the students' age range provided by Lighthouse Therapy?
Lighthouse therapy specializes in PreK-12th grade students with a developmental age range from 3-21 years old.
How long are the typical therapy session?
Therapy session lengths are based on the duration and frequency indicated in the student’s IEP. The average tends to be 3o minutes once a week but again this is based solely on the needs of the student and not the availability of the therapist.

Privacy Policy

Copyright © 2019 Lighthouse Therapy. All Rights Reserved.