The Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists (RCSLT) define teletherapy as ‘the remote provision of healthcare services using technology’. Teletherapy has been growing in popularity over the last few years and has been recognised by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) as an effective method of service delivery since 2005.
We have seen a rise in teletherapy over the last few months due to Covid-19. By moving therapy services online, this has allowed Therapists to continue to provide evidenced-based therapy for children and young people in their homes.
Understandably some families have been worried about the move towards online therapy and have been concerned that they they are not ‘tech-savvy’ enough. However, with online therapy platforms designed to be user-friendly, teletherapy has been easily accessible for both the therapist and the child.
What are the key benefits of teletherapy?
- Convenience & Flexibility: Teletherapy allows your child to access Speech & Language Therapy from the comfort of their own home, in an environment they are comfortable in. It also allows clients to access high-quality therapy in a way that works with their busy lifestyles.
- Access: It allows families who live further away from our clinic to cut out the time they would spend travelling and sitting in traffic, giving them more time to spend together. If you need a specialised treatment approach that few Therapists are qualified in, teletherapy can connect you with that clinician.
- Engaging & Motivating Sessions: Therapy is provided in real-time using motivating activities, personalised for your child to maintain their engagement. Children are typically drawn to technology. The interactive platform and games on the computer with the Therapist are motivating and keep a lot of students engaged for longer periods of time.
- Use of Home Resources: As clients don’t have access to the clinic resources, the therapist works innovatively with the family to use toys/ objects within the child’s everyday environment. This will support the carryover of therapy targets in the home.
Is Teletherapy Suitable for Every Child?
This versatile and engaging approach works well for most children and young people; however for some children, face-to-face sessions are essential in order to support their engagement in assessment and therapy. If you are unsure if Teletherapy would be a suitable for your child, speak to the Therapist about your concerns and they will be able to determine if this approach will meet the needs of your child.
- https://www.asha.org/Practice-Portal/Professional Issues/Telepractice/
- IASLT (2020), IASLT Statement on Telepractice Published in Response to COVID-19