What is teletherapy?
Teletherapy is just like regular speech and language therapy, however it is conducted through video chat. Your therapist will organise activities and games much like in face to face therapy (board games, “make a” games e.g. make a pizza, colouring, surprise games e.g. crack the egg, and many more!)
What does teletherapy look like?
Just like as in face to face speech language therapy sessions, you organise a session time which works with your routine. Your speech therapist will provide you with details on how to log in to the video chat. Most families either use a laptop or an iPad to engage in sessions.
It is best for younger children to have an adult present for the entire session to get a good idea of the strategies and activities your therapist is using, and to help out if any difficulties arise (such as the child moving too far away from the microphone).
Your therapist will have organised a range of activities to target your child’s goals. These activities will be as fun as possible, and age appropriate. Your therapist will use a mix of real toys, online toys/games, activities such as drawing/colouring/cooking, “people games” such as putting stickers on the therapist’s face, videos, and flashcards. Puppets may also be used to help keep young children engaged. You will also likely meet Hugo (the therapist’s dog), and give him a treat to eat at the end of the session.
Is the therapist experienced in delivering teletherapy?
Beth has been delivering teletherapy to specific clients for over a year. These clients include teens, and adults, along will providing consultations to parents of preschool children who are late talkers. This kind of therapy is much the same is face to face therapy and is easy and effective to complete via video chat.
Leading up to the coronavirus lockdown, it was clear that therapy would soon need to be delivered online. Beth has spent several weeks watching webinars, and researching games and activities which could make teletherapy fun and interactive for children of all ages. She has now been completing speech and language therapy online for 5 weeks, which has been both challenging and a lot of fun. Beth has also been able to be a part of a network of Speech and Language Therapists (worldwide) who have been sharing ideas, struggles, and triumphs related to teletherapy. This input and community has been invaluable in achieving success in teletherapy.
What video chat platform do we use?
At Beyond Words we conduct therapy through Webex which is a secure video chat platform. One of the benefits of Webex is that the control of the mouse and keyboard can be handed over to the client, enabling them to do tasks such as click to participate in games and activities, move letter tiles for literacy sessions and click and drag elements of a picture scene, and type written work in an interactive way.
Is teletherapy effective?
Goals are targeted in much the same way as face to face therapy, with some minor adaptations to ensure maximum progress is made. There are many studies investigating the efficacy of teletherapy which show that outcomes are comparable to face to face therapy.
If you would like to learn more about teletherapy (Speech and Language Therapy online) for yourself or your child, please feel free to contact Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org