Online speech therapy (e.g. teletherapy, telehealth) is the online delivery of speech therapy services for live video conferencing through a HIPAA compliant platform. Online speech therapy sessions are very similar to traditional speech therapy sessions with one major exception, instead of sitting in the same room, children, adults, and speech therapists interact via live video conferencing by computer, tablet, or smart phone.
Facts: The American Academy of Pediatrics has set recommendations to limit screen time for all children (especially under 2 years of age). BUT the exception is video chatting! Online speech therapy is a video chat that is live interaction and enhances learning as your speech therapist talks and plays with your child while still working on your child’s goals. In fact, there was a study done by Roseberry, Hirsh-Pasek, and Golinkoff (2013) that shows children can learn new words through video chats and live interaction, but not through prerecorded speech therapy videos. .
Facts: Online speech therapy is not age specific and can improve a child and adult's speech, language, and swallow abilities with family support. Inattention even happens during in-person therapy services with some children and adults. A great speech therapist will have many strategies available to help get your little one to cooperate to learn new strategies and even have fun during online speech therapy.
Online speech therapy does not have to be in front of the computer. Having your child play with his/her favorite toy is just as effective as web-based activities. It is time to think out of the box. Who said a therapist can't improve /s/ sounds in a toddler's pool practicing the words "splash", "slide", "sliding", "so wet," or even "splish splash!" Yes, I've done this before! It's time to get creative for more meaningful learning that is proven to transfer to more long term learning. The clinic setting at times can be more restrictive than what can be provided in the home.
The speech therapist will also provide a coaching model of therapy for you. This will involve learning techniques and exercises to help your loved one's abilities grow. This is an amazing opportunity for you to take what you learn during teletherapy and implement it throughout the week. Speech therapy goals, exercises, and techniques will change to meet your loved one’s advancement needs.
Facts: The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) directs speech therapists that online speech therapy can only be provided when the services are equal to or better than in-person sessions. This is based on numerous research studies that have shown teletherapy to be an effective form of therapy for the treatment of Apraxia of Speech, alternative augmentative communication users, Autism, feeding/swallowing disorders, stuttering, speech sound disorders, speech-language disorders, and traumatic brain injuries.
Online speech therapy is comparable to in-person sessions and is considered an effective mode of service delivery. For techniques where the children or adult might need physical cues (ie. maybe touching their mouths to show them where to make a sound), the speech therapist will work with the parent, caregiver, or family member during the session to follow through with those cues. In a sense, you become the “hands and eyes” of the speech therapist, while the therapist is still in control and directing the speech therapy session.
Facts: During our free consultation the speech therapist will learn about what your newborn, pediatric, and adult feeding/swallowing concerns are and if prior speech therapy treatment has been received. As appropriate, a sample of testing materials will be mailed to you prior to your loved one's online speech therapy evaluation. After a plan of care has been established, the family is invited to purchase the requested items to facilitate safer bottle feeding, sippy cup drinking, and/or proactively modified liquids or food in the home.
The speech therapist acts as the facilitator to set-up a strong individualized home exercise program to improve your loved one's quality of life through diet modifications, compensatory strategies, and strengthening exercises as appropriate. If your speech therapist has suspicion for silent choking, concerns for unexplained bedside symptoms, or unexplained recurrent pneumonia (just like attending an in-person speech therapy session), a Modified Barium Swallow Video may be recommended to further assess your loved one's swallow function and safety.
Feeding and swallow rehabilitation is a team effort and shouldn't be taken lightly to improve a person's safety and quality of life!
A formal speech therapy evaluation usually is given in an online speech therapy format lasting anywhere between 1 - 2 hours over 1 or 2 days, depending on the areas being assessed and the client's availability. Sometimes an evaluation gives the most accurate results over two sessions for improved concentration and participation.
Your speech therapist will conduct a thorough case history, parent interview, observation, use standardized and non-standardized test measures. Depending on the child's age or the evaluation administered, the parent or caregiver may be asked to gather specific items found around the house for the hands-on portion of the test. On other occasions the speech therapist will mail "sample" testing materials prior to the scheduled speech therapy evaluation. The speech therapist will then switch between a hands on and web-based testing format for improved engagement and more well rounded testing experience.
All of the information is compiled and analyzed by the speech therapist. A written evaluation report is provided to your physician providing an in-depth review of all information gathered, testing results, and recommendations. Your speech therapist will provide a verbal summary of the evaluation results and the recommendations either at the end of the evaluation or during your first treatment session.
Facts: For clients that are not technologically savvy, having a designated helper present to set-up the online speech therapy session is all that's needed. The speech therapist can give remote access or can control the session depending on your loved one's technological capabilities. This also gives the "helper" an opportunity to learn new speech therapy techniques and exercises to help your loved one's speech and language skills grow.
Every online speech therapy session will contain a video conferencing link within the invite. Our video conferencing software is HIPAA compliant and doesn’t require any downloads. All you need is a modern device and an internet connection.
Yes. Once your appointment is scheduled, our team will email you directly using a secure HIPAA compliant platform where you will receive all paperwork to fill-out and complete prior to your online speech therapy evaluation.
We do offer self-pay opportunities. Please click below for further details.