A Deep Dive Into Speech Language Pathology Teletherapy

A Deep Dive Into Speech Language Pathology Teletherapy | Sol Speech & Language Therapy | Austin Texas

So, things are a little weird right now, huh?

The world is changing, and many of us in the health services industry aren’t able to practice right now, with some exceptions. Speech language pathologists, like those at Sol, are still able to practice via tele therapy.

While implementing tele therapy services, through a computer, iPad or phone, we can stay safe, by practicing social distancing, while continuing with speech and language therapy evaluations and sessions.

Let’s take a closer look at teletherapy, and how you can use it to continue treatment for you or your child, even through the uncertainty of the time.

What is Teletherapy?

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, also known as ASHA, defines tele practice as the application of telecommunications technology to the delivery of speech language pathology professional services at a distance by linking clinician to client or clinician to clinician for assessment, intervention, and/or consultation.

To put it simply, it is the online delivery of your typical speech language treatment session… with a couple of tweaks made here and there.

The only real difference is that it’s done through a video conference over the internet.

If you’ve ever used Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, or any other type of video chat or conference software, it’s essentially the same thing.

The great part…because the majority of treatment done by speech language therapists is done through talk, coaching and modeling, it can usually be done via teletherapy with no decrease in effectiveness.

How Do I Have a Teletherapy Session?

First, you’ll schedule your appointment with a therapist, on a date and time that works for the both of you.

Then, when the time comes, you’ll log onto the video conference.

Here at Sol, we prefer either Google Hangouts or Zoom – both are easy to use and have secure, end-to-end encryption to keep our session private. There are also times that we may use FaceTime.

We’ll be able to see and hear each other in real-time, interact with each other, and most importantly, work through your session like we normally would.

On Google Hangouts and Zoom, we’re even able to share our screen with the client, allowing the speech language pathologist to show worksheets, videos, audio books, and other fun, engaging materials.

Why Teletherapy?

It’s true that the coronavirus is making times uncertain and definitely keeping people from connecting in person.

BUT, it’s important to note that even when we’re not hit with a pandemic, there are plenty of natural, frustrating barriers to having in-person, 1:1 speech and language sessions. These include the following:

  1. availability of clinicians in-person
  2. transportation to and from the clinic
  3. time constraints
  4. location of available SLPs and clinics
  5. need for specialized services

Let’s say a family is in need of a speech language therapist that specializes in stuttering, but no one is available in their area. They now have to travel 30 minutes (in rush hour), for an after school session at a clinic out of their immediate area. Total time for the appointment = 1.75 hours.

With a tele therapy session, it’s easy.

Rather than having to transit or drive, you can have your treatment sessions from the comfort of your home, your office, or even in the middle of a park if that’s what you’d like.

And, my personal favorite reason for tele therapy… it offers a safe, anxiety reducing environment for sessions to take place.

For some clients a speech therapy session can induce a lot of anxiety and fear.

This is true for adults speech therapy — with many being ashamed of their stutter or heavy accent.

It’s also true for children in speech therapy — especially when working with a brand new clinician. Ultimately, we do our best to provide an environment where kids feel safe, secure, and at ease, so we can get the most out of our session.

In other cases, like those recovering from a stroke or traumatic brain injury, it may be difficult to travel to a clinic to have a session.

Last but certainly not least… there is more and more research coming out in support of tele practice. Diagnosis that already have substantial research support in tele therapy include Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), stuttering, family-centered engagement, speech and language delay, parent training/coaching, and hearing.

Book An Appointment With Sol Today

Do you or your child have a speech/language concern you’re hoping to deal with?

Whatever your concern, whether a stutter, an accent, a language delay, articulation disorder or any other speech-related issue, we’re here to help.

Reach out now to book an online speech/language therapy appointment, and let’s get you communicating clearer than ever before.

If you’d like more information on tele practice or would like to consult with a speech language pathologist at Sol, please feel free to contact us here.

If you’re ready to take the next step, reach out today for a free phone consultation.

Sol Speech & Language Therapy
6448 E Hwy 290 Suite E-106,
Austin, TX 78723

(512) 368-9488

Sol Speech & Language Therapy is located in sunny Austin, Texas and offers personalized skilled intervention to those struggling with their speech and language skills. Services offered include screening, consultation, and comprehensive evaluation. We also provide one-on-one and/or group therapy for speech sound disorders, receptive/expressive language delay/disorder, stuttering/cluttering, accent reduction, and much more.