How does Telehealth / Teletherapy work at Speech Results?
The first part of any Speech Pathology assessment involves taking a detailed history about your concerns, your child’s early development, family history, medical information and learning / social skills. This is easily done online instead of in the clinic, and can be preferable, as many children are sensitive about these issues being discussed.
We may arrange to do the history session at a different time to the assessment session, or just prior to the child joining the online meeting.
Most aspects of a Speech Pathology assessment session can be successfully conducted online. These include formal language assessments, reading assessments, informal conversations and taking speech and language samples.
For very young children we may ask parents to write down a list of the child’s words, or make a video sample and send this to us for analysis.
There are some things which will be more difficult to assess online and these include eye-contact and non-verbal communication. We may need to rely on reports about these skills from parents or teachers who know the child well.
Equipment needed for assessment
For a formal assessment session with a school aged student, you will need a laptop or desktop computer with a mouse. The screen size must be at least 9.7 inches. A stable internet connection and a quiet space is essential. Headphones and microphone are optional. For informal assessment or younger children an ipad / tablet will work.
There are many types of therapy which can be provided easily and effectively via Telehealth services. Parents are often surprised at how well even young children have adapted to this new way of accessing important services. We have a range of fun and interactive speech and language games which we can screen-share, and we are able to give children some control of the games to ensure they are engaged and involved in the session, just as they would be in the clinic.
Here are just a few examples:
- Stuttering – The Lidcombe program is a parent-training program, and there is strong evidence that delivery via Telehealth is just as effective as in-clinic services.
- Literacy Programs – Reading and spelling programs are working very effectively online. Handwriting is difficult for the therapist to monitor but we can continue to provide strategies and advice to improve handwriting.
- Young children with speech and language delay – We understand that young children may not stay engaged in front of a computer screen for very long! Your therapist will encourage you to play / engage your child in games or free play with the toys and resources that you have at home, and coach / provide advice about therapy goals and how to elicit vocabulary or language structures.
- ASD / Social skills – We are working online with many ASD children to improve social skills and make family life easier! By sharing video clips and books we can demonstrate and practice many important skills such as Emotional recognition, Self-regulation and Conversation skills.
Equipment needed for successful therapy
- A stable internet connection.
- An ipad, laptop or desktop computer (laptop or desktop with mouse tends to be most effective and allow for a higher level of child / student engagement with online activities).
- If using an ipad make sure this is fully charged.
- A smartphone may be adequate for a history session but not for assessment or therapy sessions involving the child.
- Headphones and microphone are optional but strongly recommended for children with hearing impairments.
- A quiet space.
If you have any questions about whether Telehealth is suitable for your child, please call us on (03) 9499 8911.