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Online therapy anytime, anywhere - Frequently Asked Questions about Online Therapy

There is an abundant of research out there that recognises Telehealth or Online therapy as a valid means of service delivery for Speech Pathology intervention.

Evidence has shown that online Speech/Language therapy is just as effective as in-person therapy.

It’s important to acknowledge that the method in which therapy is delivered is really only one part of the equation - the person delivering it can be just as important, and perhaps even more so, which is why finding the right Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) that meets an individual’s specific communicative needs is crucial.

There is no doubt that since the Covid-19 pandamic hit, providing consultations and therapeutic services virtually has become the “new norm”.

I thought I would answer a few common questions today regarding Telehealth intervention and how it works with Speech Pathology intervention.

What are the advantages of Telehealth?

When you think about Speech Therapy, really nothing about it is physical.

One of the big advantages of Telehealth is that it allows an individual to feel more comfortable in their natural setting. This allows therapists to get a better idea of an individual’s living environment to incorporate into home practice tasks. Some of the greatest therapeutic impact occurs when primary caregivers or carers are working in a partnership with therapists and online therapy certainly enables this partnership to be a whole lot easier, more efficient and reliable.

Another big advantage is accessibility, convenience and flexibility. Therapy appointment don’t require scheduled transportation, and families and carers don’t have to pack up everything to travel and wait for their therapy appointment. This saves time and definitely allows for consistency of appointments and less need for cancellations. It also reduces travel costs involved in getting to therapy sessions or paying for therapists to travel to them.

Another ideal positive of online therapy is the wait time. Accessing Speech Pathology via telehealth is almost immediate.

Last but certainly not least, with the right therapist with right experience in Telehealth intervention - meaningful and impactful outcomes are established and goals are achieved in the comfort of your home.

How do you incorporate real-life scenarios in online therapy?

In order for therapy to be meaningful, relevant and motivational, therapy that touches on an individual’s real life is important.

The great thing about Telehealth intervention is that you can draw on materials from the individual’s home and incorporate that into therapy. For example, using their calendar, cookbooks, television, newpaper, email, television remote… I could go on and on.

This also assists to build rapport and identify specific activities within their home environment that supports carry over of skills.

How does online therapy actually work?

After agreeing on a specific date and time for the session, a video conference link (usually a zoom meeting) is sent via email in advance. Once it’s time for the appointment, individuals open the email and click on the link using their computer device.

Communication is always verbal AND visual using physical props, computer software and screen sharing. This makes therapy far more interactive and engaging to support motivation, engagement and skill building.

Does Telehealth work for adolescents and adults? And what about if an individual has reduced attention?

Online therapy definitely supports both adolescent and adults.

We currently see individuals with developmental, acquired and neurodegenerative conditions and therapy goals are most definitely being achieved.

When it comes to younger adolescents, the great thing about telehealth is that the screen provides a central focal point and their environment is familiar so they feel more comfortable and supported.

What about younger children?

We don’t support younger children via telehealth.

What do I need to get started?

Individuals will need a computer, laptop, tablet OR smartphone as well as good internet connection. Also, build-in webcams are required.

We’d be happy to arrange a complimentary session to ensure the set-up process is smooth.

We could talk about Telehealth Speech Pathology all day, for those that are willing to listen!!!



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