Speaking Up – Teletherapy: The Next Best Thing
These days, parents are not only parenting, but also educating their children as they navigate the world of online learning. For parents of children with speech and language disorders, keeping up with their child’s therapy is one more thing added to an already full plate! We know that children need regular practice to reach and maintain their speech and language goals. Did you know that the College of Audiologists and Speech Language Pathologists of Ontario considers teletherapy to be the next best thing to in person therapy?
What is teletherapy?
Teletherapy sessions allow a speech-language pathologist to provide speech and language consultations, assessments and intervention and parent coaching virtually via video conferencing! Research indicates that this is an effective way of providing speech and language therapy.
What does teletherapy look like?
In order to participate in teletherapy, all you need is a device with a camera, like a smartphone, tablet or computer that can access the Internet. Prior to the session, your speech-language pathologist will send materials such as crafts and worksheets that can be used throughout the session. There are also lots of fun toys and games that your child can participate in virtually. Typically, children are well engaged throughout the sessions, and have lots of fun interacting with their therapist.
What are the benefits of teletherapy?
In order to make significant gains in speech and language goals, children require ongoing practice. With the sudden closure of many services, therapy has been interrupted and progress towards goals may regress. During teletherapy sessions, parents are asked to participate in the session and support their child. This not only helps with technological hiccups, but also gives the parent a front-row seat to the techniques and activities utilized by the speech-language pathologist. This parent-coaching model allows for carry-over of goals as the parent can continue targeting the child’s goals during daily activities and routines.
During this time of social and physical distancing, it is important to stay connected. Fern Speech and Language Services has continued to provide consultation, assessment, and treatment via teletherapy and would be happy to connect with you.