So, things are a little weird right now, huh?
The world is changing, and many of us in the health services industry are not able to practice right now, with some exceptions.
But there are ways around this.
Speech language pathologists, like those at Sol, are still able to practice via tele therapy.
Let’s take a closer look at what teletherapy is, and how you can use it to continue treatment for you or your child, even through the uncertainty of this 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’s 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 is that because the majority of treatment done by speech 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 Zoom – it’s easy to use and has secure, end to end encryption to keep our session private.
HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.
It was passed in 1996, with the goal of creating national standards to protect sensitive health data from being compromised and exposed.
In other words, it’s a good thing – it helps protect your privacy.
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 in person.
On Zoom, we’re even able to share our screen with you.
This means we can still use things like diagrams, worksheets, videos, audio, and other aids to use in your speech therapy sessions.
There are a number of reasons why teletherapy can be useful.
So who gets teletherapy services?
You may choose teletherapy if:
- You’re unable to visit a speech therapy clinic in person
- You have a hectic schedule
- You live far from our clinic
It’s true that the coronavirus is making times uncertain and definitely keeping people from connecting in person.
It’s to these telecommunication apps that we look for ways to bridge a solution to this problem.
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:
- availability of clinicians in person
- transportation to and from the clinic
- time constraints
- location of available SLPs and clinics
- need for specialized services
Let’s say a family is in need of a speech language pathologist that specializes in stuttering, but no one is available in their area.
If the nearest speech therapy clinic is an hour away, that becomes a much more difficult situation to get treatment.
That’s an hour drive, then an hour session, then an hour drive home.
Imagine doing this after work, or if you’re seeking speech therapy for your child, after they’re done school.
Not very feasible, is it?
But with a teletherapy 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.
This also lets you continue your current speech therapist if you move far away and are unable to commute to the clinic.
And, my personal favorite reason for teletherapy – it offers you 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.
Many may be ashamed of their speech disorder – it’s not uncommon for anxiety or depression to be a symptom of a speech disorder.
This is especially true when working with a speech therapist you’ve never seen before.
Ultimately, we do our best to provide an environment where you can feel safe, secure, and at ease, so you can get the most out of your session.
But if that’s not possible in clinic, it might be best to do so over speech teletherapy instead.
Last but certainly not least – more and more research is coming out in support of speech language pathology teletherapy.
Speech therapy treatments that already have substantial research support in speech teletherapy include autism spectrum disorder, stuttering, family centered engagement, speech and language developmental delays, and parent and caregiver training.
However, we offer most speech therapy services virtually as well as in person.
Some of our services, on the other hand, including transgender voice feminization training, are only virtual.
Book Your Appointment With Sol Speech And Language Therapy Today
Do you or your child have a speech or language concern you’re hoping to deal with?
Whatever your concern, whether a stutter, a language delay, speech sound disorder, or any other speech related issue, we’re here to help.
Reach out now to book an online speech therapy appointment, and let’s get you communicating clearer than ever before.
If you’re ready to take the next step, reach out today to one of our two locations for a free phone consultation.Sol Speech & Language Therapy
6448 E Hwy 290 Suite E-106,
Austin, TX 78723
Sol Speech & Language Therapy
555 Round Rock W Dr E-221,
Round Rock, TX 78681
Sol Speech & Language Therapy 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.