1. What is teletherapy?
Teletherapy is the use of telecommunications technology (e.g., iPhones, tablets, laptop computers) to deliver speech-language pathology services. In accordance with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) the quality of services provided via teletherapy must be equivalent to the quality of services provided in person and align with the ASHA Code of Ethics, Scope of Practice in Speech-Language Pathology, and state and federal laws.
Teletherapy at Suffield Speech Therapy is considered “synchronous”. This means services are conducted with interactive audio and video connection in real time. Individual teletherapy creates an in-person experience similar to that offered in a traditional speech therapy session. The quality of services provided via teletherapy is equivalent to the quality of services provided in person. Using a password protected Zoom video conference or Google Meet via the Suffield Speech Therapy HIPAA compliant G-Suite ensures your privacy.
2. Why use teletherapy for speech therapy?
The state of Connecticut and the commonwealth of Massachusetts require the use of masks right now for in-person therapy in order to limit the spread of Covid-19. Unfortunately, many treatment approaches for communication disorders (e.g., childhood apraxia of speech treatments, social pragmatic communication disorder treatments, Lee Silverman Voice Therapy - LOUD!) rely heavily on clinician models. With masks on, it is difficult to provide models and to see what clients are doing with their mouths. Teletherapy offers the ability to see and hear clients during speech therapy.
3. Who is the best candidate for speech teletherapy?
The quick answer is people of all ages with most communication disorders are good candidates for speech teletherapy. Teletherapy has been used for decades in order to provide services to people who do not have in-person speech therapy available to them. Because of this, there is research supporting the efficacy of teletherapy for multiple populations including children and adults with speech sound disorders, fluency disorders, dysarthria, and voice disorders. Comparative studies have shown teletherapy to be at least as effective as therapy delivered face-to-face, with both parent and client satisfaction reported.
In short, teletherapy is a well-researched, trusted way to deliver speech-language services to clients. It offers a safe and effective way to provide immediate help to people who are living with communication disorders. Covid-19 has interrupted lives in many ways. Teletherapy connects providers and clients to start working towards better communication and quality of life right now.
Resources for parents:
Take a quick survey to see if your child would be a good candidate for teletherapy here.
Helpful considerations for parents who feel skeptic about teletherapy here.
Resources used for this blog post: