4 Barriers to Entry with Traditional Speech Therapy and Teletherapy
If you’re new to the idea of teletherapy and you’ve not already read our previous blog post “what is teletherapy” then please check that post out as well. You can also check out ASHA’s stance on teletherapy. Teletherapy is a really simple concept. By making the most of advancements in telecommunications it’s now easier than ever to connect clients with therapists in all fields. All you need is a webcam, internet and an audio capable device and you could have your child’s speech therapy sessions live, in your own home or at their school with a qualified professional.
Perhaps you think your child may need help with talking or your school wants to improve the speech and language therapy services offered to your students. There are a few roadblocks you might face along the way. Today we’re going to look at 4 barriers to entry you might find with traditional, in person, speech and language therapy and, more importantly, how speech teletherapy offers innovative solutions without sacrificing quality of care.
1. My speech language pathologist’s schedule is full
There is often a shortage of speech therapists available in schools to evaluate and treat all of the kids that may need speech and other therapy services. When this scenario occurs, schools and parents may need to seek outside services to help support their kids that need speech therapy services. As a school, using speech teletherapy services provides the district with a wider array of knowledgeable professionals that will be able to support their students.
For many parents, they may choose to add additional speech therapy services for their child and search for a private speech therapist. Finding a speech therapist that you trust can help your kid can be challenging due to their schedule being full, location, or time conflicts. By choosing to work virtually with a speech therapist, many of these barriers are resolved, while still getting the services your child needs.
It’s only natural, and not at all uncommon that a speech therapist will have a full caseload. Speech language pathologists, as much as we wish they did, don’t grow on trees and they’re in high demand. So when you do find the right speech therapist, the chances are, you’re going to have to fit into their schedule which starts to sound a little less than ideal.
Maybe they’ve got a waiting list a month long (we’ve heard of much longer) or maybe they’re working hours don’t fit in with yours. Whatever the scenario, supporting your child’s development is something that should improve quality of life, not causing inconvenience.
This is where speech teletherapy comes into its own. The fact that you can connect with scores of SLPs all across the country, filtered and vetted to fit in with your schedule means that your child’s therapy won’t cost you 4 weeks of waiting or any time off work.
You can plan ahead as much as you need and make sure that you can give your child what they need when they need it.
3. There are no speech therapists in my area
Tied in with scheduling, distance between you and your speech language pathologist is another huge barrier to entry for some. As we pointed out in the previous section, in a lot of towns across the country, speech development experts are thinly spread and in the worst cases, non-existent. This is especially true of rural areas. Before we’ve even considered their schedule, if your nearest qualified speech therapist is an hour’s travel away it’s going to be even more of a struggle to get your child to their session. And we really want to reiterate here; your child’s speech therapy should be a positive thing. Removing barriers that associate their sessions with stress or make them feel like a chore is a MUST.
Consider then, the possibility of your speech language pathologist being with you, when you need them, in your own home or school. That’s the real benefit of speech teletherapy. When you have no travel time or expenses to worry about you can really invest in your child’s support and development.
4. My child receives speech therapy, but I can’t be there to learn about goals and tips for helping at home
An issue teachers and parents across the nation know all too well. You might be lucky enough to have a school that has an in-house speech therapist. The likelihood is, though, that they work during normal lesson times. If you’re otherwise predisposed, as a teacher or parent who wants to be involved in the support and development of your child’s communication skills this could, long term, become a real issue. After all, the support doesn’t start and stop in the session. It needs to be worked on and nurtured at home and through normal school lessons.
By using speech teletherapy, parents and teachers have the added benefit of being able to ensure that they’re available to join the session. Committing to and attending the sessions yourself will give you the tools and advice you need to continue the learning at home or in the classroom through speech development activities demonstrated by a professional.
You’ll see the difference yourself, and when you wouldn’t usually be able to attend, having the luxury of your choice of therapist live in your home by video chat really can be the difference.
See all of our speech teletherapy services here: Speech and Language Services