Online speech therapy is becoming increasingly popular as a new approach to therapy for kids. It offers many new benefits for children, without compromising quality care.
However, one of the questions to raise for your family is: Will it be effective for your child?
Let’s discuss what online speech therapy can offer and how it can be the perfect method for your child.
Online Speech Therapy vs. In-Person Therapy
There are many different ways to deliver speech therapy services, but the most common is in-person. This means that the therapy is provided by a speech-language pathologist at either a school or a clinic. Many parents may default to in-person as a classic, time-tested option for their family. However nowadays, most communication challenges have therapy methods that are just as effective online.
In a pilot study from Ohio, U.S., they tested the effectiveness of both in-person and online speech-therapy methods. The school age children in the study improved significantly in both delivery types. However, the children who had online therapy showed greater mastery in their Individual Education Plan, a guideline to reaching their communication goals.
Teletherapy (or telepractice) has also been determined by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association as an appropriate delivery model for speech-language pathology.
Online speech therapy for kids proves to be a viable therapy method that can meet the standard of in-person conventional therapy. If anything, it is a service that connects therapists to more people, especially those that need more flexible options.
To determine if online speech therapy is for your child, let’s first look at its key benefits.
How Therapy Works
Aside from the means of delivery, online and in-person therapy are mostly the same, both focusing on achieving your child’s speech goals. Online materials and games are available for therapists to use for language development and motor skills.
Online speech-language therapy also makes use of digital tools for sharing information and activities over the screen. It allows parents to share videos with their speech therapist on how their child behaves at home. This can help further in the assessment through everyday activities.
Some children behave differently compared to how they would behave at home. Some are even embarrassed or shy when they go to therapy, or even flat out refuse to leave the house. The whole experience of getting dressed and driving up to the clinic can further increase the idea that you are not at home.
Online sessions address that by bringing therapy to a place of comfort. You can do everything from booking your next appointment to attending sessions online. Having your child in a comfortable environment might help them feel more at ease and open up to using their words more for everyday life.
Especially with the current environment, more families consider services at home a must. Online speech therapy sessions provide availability at the click of a button, a safe and convenient alternative for the family. This also saves you time on commuting, and eliminates the unpredictability of bad weather on the way.
As mentioned before, online speech therapy also opens up your options when you live in a rural area or small town with little to no availability for in-person services. This also allows you to even seek a specialist from miles away if your child needs it.
There are also many online speech therapists that work outside of typical business hours, perfect for having speech therapy work around your schedule. This means that your child can have accessible therapy after school, and you can also join your child after work to help with their speech development.
Speech therapy for kids at home can lead to excellent parent coaching opportunities. With your family in a natural environment, your daily dynamic is less interfered with. There’s no distraction for your child and they will not feel like they are being observed.
Everyday activities, including playtime and mealtimes are done as they would everyday. This means your child doesn’t need to ease into an activity that they do in a clinic to integrate at home. Your therapist also has the opportunity to see gaps from your child’s performance that they may not see in a clinic setting.
Speech therapy at home gives parents an opportunity to be more involved in their child’s online therapy session. You can even actively learn about what to do with your child instead of learning them after sessions.
Quality of Therapy
Some of the common fears parents have are that online speech pathologists are not as qualified as those in-person. This is a big misconception.
Reputable practices have licensed speech-language pathologists. They would have the same qualifications as those you would meet in a hospital, school or clinic. On many occasions, speech pathologists spearhead these companies. They build teams of licensed speech therapists like them to deliver therapy to more children.
There are also cases where practices with physical clinics will offer online alternatives. Whether fully-online, in-person or both, each delivery style still offers comprehensive therapy.
Will It Work for My Family?
There are many ways to get speech therapy in the modern world, and online speech therapy is one of those you should consider. Online speech therapy is available for everyone, but we’ve found that they work best if:
- Your child is more comfortable/cooperative at home.
- You live in a rural area without a nearby access to therapy.
- Specialized care that your child needs is not available at your location.
- You have limited time to bring your child to therapy.
Online speech therapy is also the best way to get quality speech therapy while keeping your child safe from the pandemic environment.
Apheleia makes online speech therapy easy and affordable. At $125 per week, your therapist will give you three sessions (one live and two recorded sessions), and make it flexible for you and your family’s busy schedule.
Our speech therapists have access to various online resources, making therapy both fun and impactful to your child’s speech regardless of where they are. Apheleia also allows you to reach out to your therapist at any time, to make therapy work for your family.
You can learn more about online speech therapy by signing up for our consultation. Apheleia can help you get started by evaluating your child’s speech development needs, and discussing how online speech therapy can work for you.