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‚ÄúBabyTalk‚ÄĚ- Welcome to the Magic of Tele-Therapy via the iPad

WCC is located in Silicon Valley where so many innovations in technology have been created and have become a daily presence in our lives. Can we even imagine getting through a single day without reaching for our cell phones, checking email on our infinite variety of mobile devices, or sitting down at our computers to do our work, or staying in touch with families and friends by Skype, or checking Instagram for new photographs that bring loved ones near to us? The answer is obviously ‚ÄúNO‚ÄĚ because technology is second nature to us on a daily basis!

It is so exciting that because of a generous gift from a local funder, that WCC and Stanford School of Medicine’s Department of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery have come together to form a partnership to offer Tele-Therapy to parents of newly diagnosed babies with hearing loss, using the iPad’s FaceTime programming capabilities.  This new innovative program is the first of its kind in California, and is offering weekly access to our highly skilled therapist that will offer a Parent Coaching model of early intervention for families who live too far away to actually come to WCC. The cost for BabyTalk is determined on a case-by-case basis, during the intake process. Scholarships are available.

BabyTalk is an outreach program for families in Northern California who choose a listening and spoken language option for their child with a diagnosed hearing loss. The program includes direct consultation with professionals such as audiologists, social workers, deaf educators and speech pathologists. When a family becomes a part of BabyTalk, they are invited to come to stay at the Leahea Grammatico    Family Center overnight to meet their therapist and our social worker, have a tour of the school, and receive their iPad with practice on how to use the technology. After this first site visit they will have a weekly parent lesson provided in the family’s home via the internet using the iPad FaceTime feature. Each therapist at WCC also has an iPad in her therapy room, and at the assigned time for therapy, they connect and begin their Parent Coaching session just as if they were meeting face to face at the school.

This kind of innovation allows parents to access our highly skilled therapist regardless of how far away they may live.  Currently we are serving babies and their families from Monterey all the way up to the Oregon border. This is a blessing to those families who could not drive many hours for a therapy session, but who still have that same desire and need to have our highly skilled Parent Infant services.  We are offering the BabyTalk therapy in English and in Spanish and hope to expand the number of babies we can serve.With Tele-Therapy, there are no boundaries and no distances that can’t be breached, because our WCC therapists are now as close as a touch on your iPad!  We are so grateful to the Giannini Foundation for their generosity in supporting the BabyTalk Program.


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