Even in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, many aspects of our lives must still continue. While many activities certainly have become challenging recently, speech therapy fortunately has an effective alternative to in-person meetings. Did you know that this essential service can still be utilized safely at a distance? Here you will learn how speech therapy operates currently and how you can still benefit from Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) in the comfort of your home or office.
What is Teletherapy?
Teletherapy sessions are essentially the same as traditional speech therapy sessions in-person, with one major difference. With Teletherapy, sessions take place online through live video conferencing.
Despite doing their duties through a computer screen, the practice remains largely the same, with the same strategies and activities an SLP would have used in person.
It should be noted that Teletherapy is not a hastily made response to the pandemic. It is only 'new' in the sense that advances in technology have made it a feasible way to perform SLP services within the last couple of decades.
More than just a phone call
A misconception about Teletherapy is that it is simply a video lesson or a phone call. This is not true. Teletherapy sessions are meant to deliver the same kind of service one expects with in-person sessions. The SLP and client will still see, hear, and react in real time just as they would traditionally. This is all thanks to technology including webcam, microphone, and a strong internet connection.
As sessions are live, both parties are expected to 'meet' at their scheduled time. Specific video conferencing programs are used to facilitate online meetings, such as Zoom.
Better than in-person therapy?
Another misconception is that Teletherapy is not as effective as traditional in-person therapy. However this is not true. Teletherapy has been considered an effective and appropriate theurapeutic delivery mode based on 20 years of research by over 40 academic published studies.
There are a few advantages that can make Teletherapy more effective for some people. The nature of how it works means it has the flexibility of reducing or eliminating barriers of distance, impaired mobility, and unavailability of therapists.
By working through online sessions, everyone can be more consistent . Families no longer need to worry about having to arrange childcare since they no longer need to leave the home. Clients can also benefit in other ways, as available therapist options open up due to distance no longer being a factor. Privacy is maintained at a higher level thanks to only needing to interact with their SLP.
Teletherapy in a Covid-19 world
Probably the largest advantage of Teletherapy is that it is an ideal way for people to work together. By doing sessions online, there is no need to worry about masks obstructing the practice. Neither party will need to be physically near each other, so traveling and unnecessary contact with surfaces are minimized. As of result, important oral and visual information still remains available for the SLP to work with, allowing effective sessions without increasing risks.
Overall, despite Teletherapy not being as a well known practice, it is a highly effective way to still receive speech therapy. It is just as effective as traditional in-person therapy but carries some advantages that are quite relevant in recent times. If you were worried about a communication issue but hesitated due to Covid-19 risks or flexibility barriers, Teletherapy is there to help out.