Virtual speech therapy is gaining popularity as a new method of therapy for kids. Without compromising quality care, it proves beneficial and provides additional advantages to some families who are looking for a more flexible and convenient option when it comes to speech development.
Since there are several ways to access speech therapy, the common question most parents ask is if they are right for their child. Let's discuss how online speech therapy (or teletherapy) could be an option for you and your family.
Is Online Speech Therapy More Effe
ctive than In-Person?
A common method for delivering speech therapy services is in-person, where speech-language pathologists conduct therapy at a school or a clinic. It is a time-tested option, and having been used for many years already, many parents usually decide to do it in-person.
However, online speech therapy began to emerge as an alternative, especially when the technology was enough for it to match the quality of in-person sessions.
The effectiveness of in person and virtual speech therapy methods were tested in the pilot study from Ohio. The researchers saw that the school-aged children improved in both delivery types, but children under online therapy achieved more than the in-person group in their Individual Education Plan (IEP) which outlined the majority of their communication goals.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association also confirmed teletherapy as an appropriate delivery model for speech-language pathology. Online speech therapy sessions continuously show promise in meeting the standard of in-person therapy sessions. It also helps therapists connect to more people and gives them more flexibility.
Let's see how online speech therapy has certain benefits for your child.
How Online Therapy Works
In-person therapy and online therapy both aim to help you achieve your child's speech goals. A speech-language pathologist can use online material and games to help develop language and motor skills.
Digital tools available nowadays, like the ones used at online speech-language therapy, are also used for sharing information and activities between speech therapists and parents. Parents can document their child's behavior and send t
hem to their speech pathologist to see if there are any improvements needed at home.
It's also possible for speech therapists to see child activity that they might not observe in a clinic's environment, which helps with the assessment for the child.
Children may act differently in a clinic or school setting than they would at home. Some are embarrassed or shy in therapy while others don't want to leave the house at all. The time you spend in getting dressed and driving to the clinic also reinforces the idea that you're in a strange and unfamiliar location.
Online therapy sessions help to bring therapy to a place of comfort. You can do anything from booking an appointment to attending sessions online. Your child may feel more at ease if they are in a place that is comfortable to them.
More families want services at home in the current environment. Online speech therapy gives families just that: access to a safe and conve
nient alternative to in-person speech therapy when they need it. This even eliminates the factors of commute time, with therapy available at your fingertips at home.
Teletherapy is also an excellent option if speech therapy is out of reach for you and your child locally. Often this is the case when the commute is too far, or you live in a rural and small town that lacks availability. If your child needs a particular specialist, online speech therapy will allow you to find a specialist even from hundreds of miles away.
Online speech therapists can work on your schedule if you don't want to book appointments at normal business hours. This means that you can help with your child's speech development and accessible therapy at the same time.
Excellent parent coaching opportunities can result from speech therapy for kids at home. Your daily dynamic can be simpler if you and your family are in a natural environment. There's no chance your child will be distracted and they won't feel that they are being watched.
They do the everyday activities like playtime and dining out in ways you would expect. This means that if you have your child participate in an activity at the clinic, they will not need to adjust to it at home. There are some gaps that your therapist can see in a clinic setting and they can give you the opportunity to find out about them.
With the technology we have nowadays, online speech therapy is a promising method especially for parents who want to be more involved in the speech and language development for their child.
Quality of Therapy
Some parents have the misconception that online speech-language pathologists are not as qualified as those in person, which is far from true. Speech-language pathologists working in an online practice are licensed and will often mention their training and certifications on their websites.
They are just like those in a hospital, school or clinic, a
nd there may also be instances when they work both in-person and through teletherapy. Speech pathologists also tend to lead online speech therapy practices, to help them and their team of speech therapists to deliver therapy to more children that may be out of reach for in-person.
Some practices that have offices or physical clinics may also be the ones to offer online alternatives. Whichever the delivery style, both in-person and online offers comprehensive therapy regardless of the method when delivered by a licensed practitioner.
Will It Work for My Family?
You can find many ways to get speech therapy in the modern world and online speech technology is one of them. Online speech therapy can be used for everyone but we found they work best if your child and your family are looking particularly for therapy that's:
more suited for your child that is more comfortable and cooperative at home
accessible to you if you live in a rural area far away from physical speech therapy clinics
specialized to your child's communication disorder or needs
fitting for your work schedule, even outside the usual office or clinic hours.
If you want quality speech therapy while protecting your child from the pandemic environment, online speech therapy is the way to go.
Online speech therapy can be excellent for kids, but it's not a one-size-fits-all solution for each family. Perks such as schedule flexibility and convenience is something that conventional therapy doesn't often provide, but are widely available for teletherapy. Signing on to the benefits is worth it in many cases, especially when you are looking for a perfect fit for your child.
We can help with evaluating your child's speech development needs and discussin
g how online speech therapy may benefit you. Book a free consultation with us on the website to get started.