The Journey to Connect Teletherapy
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association considers telepractice a relevant approach to speech therapy. When considering virtual speech therapy, there could be concerns if a true connection can be missed. Can a bond be created via virtual therapy? Do clients miss out on learning true social skills?
However, there are so many benefits virtual speech therapy could offer if a true connection was possible. Speech teletherapy could help with scheduling, accessibility, and commutes. Therefore, it was worth trying this new approach to speech therapy. This experience ultimately led to the launch of Connect Teletherapy.
The Human Connection is There
My first virtual speech therapy session was with a 10-year-old girl with a diagnosis of autism. She engaged easily and appeared comfortable communicating virtually. Her mother was present during the session, which made it possible for her to give feedback on preferred activities. The client showed enthusiasm towards each online speech activity presented and engaged easily. This was just one example of many where a connection was made via teletherapy. I now felt confident that virtual speech teletherapy does support a genuine human connection.
Kids are into Technology
Clients engaged much more readily while working on their speech therapy goals via technology. There was an increase in participation when using preferred online activities as reinforcement. Students were much more motivated to complete speech goals when they had their favorite online game to work for. Online resources for speech therapy also make addressing speech therapy goals fun. Resources are available to address everything from articulation to pragmatic skills. Delivering online speech therapy using fun activities and resources worked very well for students.
It’s Easier to Practice Skills Within Their Comfort Zone.
Students were more engaged when they were in their comfort zone. Speech teletherapy sessions are typically held in a familiar setting such as their home or school. In a traditional speech therapy setting, it may take students weeks to feel comfortable in the speech therapy room. We noticed our students engaged quicker when therapy was done in a familiar setting. For example, when working on social skills with two middle school boys, they were more willing to engage in conversation during teletherapy sessions. After practicing via online therapy, they had confidence to begin socializing in real life scenarios.
Connect and Coordinate With Parents
Virtual speech therapy allows more time for therapists to connect with parents. During live sessions, parents and therapists can collaborate on speech goals and home activities. Online therapy allows more time to address goals, share progress, and new ideas with parents. Even when parents are not present, sessions can be recorded for later review. Overall, more time for parent and therapist collaboration helps students progress towards their goals.
Speech Teletherapy Offers Flexibility
In the clinical setting, there can be difficulty with commuting and scheduling. Many parents have limited availability due to these issues. When certain times are not open, parents can’t make scheduled sessions. As busy parents, things like unexpected delays, weather, or sickness can make it difficult to be consistent. Virtual speech therapy helps to solve these issues and gives flexibility to parents.
Virtual Therapy Makes Speech Therapy Services More Accessible.
Teletherapy can be accessed by anyone. No matter where a child lives, they can access therapy. Therapists no longer need to live in the city they work. Parents may choose speech teletherapy for preventative therapy or in place of traditional therapy. There are no barriers to entry and everyone has access to therapy via speech teletherapy.
Connect With Us
Virtual speech therapy offers a human connection among many other advantages. Because of this, Connect Teletherapy was launched to give all people access to speech therapy. Please connect with us to try virtual speech therapy today!