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Tall City Speech moves to teletherapy during COVID-19, helps more children in the Basin

"My job right now is just offering a little bit of hope to those parents," Lauren Szot, Speech Language Pathologist and Tall City Speech owner said.

MIDLAND, Texas — Finding a new routine makes all the difference these days while we've been stuck at home. 

It's something one Midland speech language pathologist has been clinging to. 

Lauren Szot is the owner of Tall City Speech and she's had to shake up her routine too because of COVID-19. 

"My job right now is just offering a little bit of hope to those parents, offering some normalcy, some routine to their daily struggle because everybody's struggling whether it be financially, emotionally or physically," Szot said. 

Since the home aspect of her pediatric home health therapy came to a halt, she's had to get creative, using interactive tools and games alongside zoom to continue her services in the digital realm.

"The kids seem to really love it. They can control the mouse, they can move and click on things, drag animals and make noises. So really it's been a great change because I'm dealing with kids that's that's what they love to do. They love the technology, so I think we're just in their wheel house right now," Szot said. 

But the digital aspect is not necessarily in the parents' wheel house.

That's why Lauren has been sending out weekly emails and started a YouTube channel to help with the transition. 

She's also been going the extra mile to prepare her speech sessions. 

"I have to make sure I watch everything thoroughly the first time because there's ads that can pop up, there's things that will distract them," Szot said. 

Some parents have been hesitant to accept this new form of therapy, worrying their children won't pay attention for that long through a screen. 

"We've had to adapt. I've had to reassure them a lot, let's just try it, let's see how it goes," Szot said. 

Others have adopted it quickly. 

Although it's been a quick adjustment of how Tall City Speech services patients, the owner of the business said now she's able to reach those outside of city limits and in other isolated areas of the Permian Basin thanks to technology. 

So some good has come from this change in routine-more children in the Basin are getting the help they need, and that's what's most important. 


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