Due to the impact of COVID-19 on in-person services, Reach has been working hard to maintain contact with its vulnerable families to assist with children's challenging behaviours and work with parents to develop strategies to continue their child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) within their homes.
The team quickly developed an integrated approach to remain connected and offer telehealth virtual services to provide direct support to their families.
To conduct therapeutic services virtually, it is necessary to equip families so that they can continue interventions in their homes with the guidance of Reach staff. Essential for such communication are iPads. Staff use iPads to deliver remote services to observe sessions and coach families. Staff need one iPad and each family needs two: one for observation and one for the parent(s) to use to teach the child.
This shift to virtual service provision created a dramatic increase in expenses associated with program operations. Many of the Reach families do not have access to the technology needed to communicate virtually nor the resources to purchase any.
“For parents with a child with neurodiversity or extra needs, this time is especially difficult and it is critical that we maintain contact to provide support services,” said Reach executive director, Renie D’Aquila.
Although Reach is currently able to provide in-person services when possible, many families still require virtual services as the pandemic persists.
A $6,300 donation received from the Tsawwassen Rotary Club has enabled Reach to purchase additional iPads to ensure families continue to receive the critical support they need to foster their child's optimal development at home.
“We are incredibly grateful to Tsawwassen Rotary for this impactful contribution to Reach to ensure our services continue as needed during these extremely challenging times,” said Reach development manager Kristin Bibbs.