TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - The coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed therapy for clients of the Regional Rehabilitation Center in Tupelo.
However, the center is still dedicated to carrying out its mission, even if it's not in person.
"We were actually only there at the building for two weeks until everything shut down for coronavirus," explained Jessie Hutchison.
Jessie's son, Fisher, started taking speech therapy at Regional Rehab earlier this year.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, his weekly therapy sessions look a little bit different now.
"We've been seeing Mrs. Kamme every week over Zoom," added Hutchison.
"During my time at home, I was studying up on teletherapy. I had never done that before, " said Kamme Riddle, a speech-language pathologist at Regional Rehab.
However, the pandemic isn't slowing down Fisher's therapy.
At one-year-old, doctors diagnosed him with speech delay and referred him to Regional Rehab through early intervention.
"He was getting so frustrated, it wasn't his fault but he knew he couldn't get his point across and we would try to be so patient, but he was upset, " added Fisher's mom.
During his therapy sessions, Fisher works with his therapist, Kamme Riddle, on his speech sounds.
"He's made great progress on that and now we're working on sentence length, which has just been amazing to watch," added Riddle.
Although virtual therapy might be more challenging for toddlers, Riddle said their sessions still reflect what it would look like face-to-face, which incorporates a lot of play into learning.
"Therapy face-to-face with me is usually a whole lot of play, so virtually it is too.."
Jessie said the progress their family has seen in just a few months is incredible.
"Me, his dad, and his sister could understand most of the words but somebody off the street wouldn't. But I really think now, if he tried to carry on a conversation with anybody they would get the gist of it," added Fisher's mom.
The family plans to continue with Fisher's speech therapy until he doesn't need it.
"We are so grateful, so grateful for Regional Rehab. And as a parent we just want him to be the best he can be," added Hutchison.