Virtual early intervention programs proving beneficial for the Bell Center

Bell Center transitions to telemedicine during pandemic and could continue to offer the option in the future

Bell Center offers teletherapy

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The proverb “necessity is the mother of invention,” has turned out to be true for the Bell Center. Like many others, their services went virtual overnight.

“We had started conversation about what it would like for us to provide teletherapy as an option and we were catapulted into that as everyone else was,” says Program Director Kameron Carden.

While the pandemic has created challenges for the therapists at the Bell Center, who offer transdisciplinary model of speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and early childhood special education, it also has created some new opportunities.

“It really is such a gift to organizations like our and other organizations that service children who are far away, we have families from drive from Montgomery and Huntsville to receive services from us. We have a lot of children that are immunocompromised and during flu and cold season its really challenging even with all the precautions we take here to get out and receive services,” says Carden. “We will be able to provide services to families outside of greater Birmingham area with more frequency and reach families that can’t come in to the center during cold and flu season.”

The Bell Center’s summer programs will remain virtual but now they are also looking into ways to continue to over teletherapy options, and incorporate it the curriculum.

The parents and the therapists are benefitting from it too. Therapists are able to see a child in their own home environment, and offer even individualized services. Parents are also getting the chance to help their children in a whole new way.

“When you’re divided by a computer screen and the therapist is coaching you, all of the success that you are creating with your child, you are doing that independently in y our home and that is a really big boost for a lot of families. While the therapist is there with them on the screen they are creating all of that success through a supported arrangement and that is so beautiful to watch,” says Carden.

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