Why Online Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy aims to help individuals with speech and language impairments to speak better. It involves assessments and treatment of speech disorders and other communication problems to encourage people to speak more confidently. Speech therapists, also known as speech-language pathologists (SLPs), apply various speech therapy techniques in short or long-term sessions (depending upon the extent of the problem or disorder) to improve one’s communication.
How Does an Online Speech Therapy Work?
Online speech therapy, a type of telecommunication technology, is used to help a person suffering from speech disorders or communication disabilities with a professional and licensed speech therapist over the internet. It enables speech-language pathologists (SLPs) to serve a wider range of people having speech disorders in a situation when the geographical location doesn’t matter. Individuals with speech disorders can easily try speech therapy exercises at the comfort of their home to improve outcomes.
SLPs follow the same methodologies and approaches as in a conventional face-to-face therapy session, with an added advantage of being at one’s home and joining the session at one’s convenience time. As per the research studies, children can learn better while taking part in online speech therapy sessions as they can learn faster and better in a natural and comfortable environment, with the support of parents and close ones.
Parents can help their children to speak better by participating in speech therapy online sessions, conducted by trained speech therapists. Moreover, taking speech therapy at home can also help parents participate actively and get to know the problems faced by their children. In this way, parents can understand and learn what exactly to implement in their day-to-day communication with children to help them speak better. Many schools are, therefore, providing online speech therapy facilities to children, where they can learn and develop better speech and language skills in their own comfort zone.
Top 20 Benefits of Online Speech Therapy
With the rising Google searches for ‘speech therapy at home’ or ‘online speech therapy’, it is quite evident the growing demand for the same. There are numerous benefits of taking speech therapy at home, and it is totally worth the try for people of all ages. Moreover, it can address speech disorders of almost any kind, and therefore, can be categorised as an online stuttering therapy, online therapy for aphasia, dyslexia, and language difficulties, online voice therapy and even online swallowing therapy.
Children with autism and other special needs who have speech and language difficulties can also show significant improvements through online therapy for speech and language. Here are the top fifteen advantages of participating in speech therapy while sitting back in your cosy chair.
- Greater effectiveness: Online speech therapy can be more effective for some people. For example, children with hearing disabilities and poor attention skills may benefit better from an interactive online session of telepractice through the use of headphones or Bluetooth speakers.
- Greater flexibility: Apart from providing a comfortable home environment, online speech therapy offers the flexibility of time, since one doesn’t have to travel down to the clinic. In this way, you can schedule your appointment in your own convenient time.
- Access to remote areas: People living in rural areas or other restricted regions can easily reach out to the services offered by speech therapists online, since the internet is accessible to all.
- Cost-effective: Speech therapy can be a much affordable solution, both for the patient as well as the speech therapy professional. There are no clinical costs involved, like power consumption, rental, travel, etc.
- Great choice for working people: You can integrate your teletherapy sessions even within your busy and tight-packed everyday schedules. Working parents can learn and know their child’s communication problems better to help them improve and do better in academics or acquire other developmental skills effectively.
- No waiting time: With online speech therapy, you don’t have to wait at the reception or come in early before the appointed time to make sure you don’t miss your session. Also, you don’t have to wait for your queries or problems to get answered. An online speech therapy system makes the process quick and you can even set reminders for your appointment date and time to eliminate your waiting time.
- Better relationship with your speech therapist: In an online speech therapy program, you can always be in touch with your therapist over WhatsApp messaging and video call. This strengthens your bond and understanding with your therapist.
- High level of convenience: Online speech therapy is a very convenient speech disorder treatment solution, because of the time saved in waiting and travel. This further enables therapists and patients to participate in much longer therapy sessions.
- Goal-oriented therapy: There are various speech therapy programs available for each of the various speech problems, such as stuttering, dysarthria, apraxia, and even dysphonia. Online speech therapy programs enable individuals to get connected to specialists for their unique communication problems. Moreover, online speech therapy sessions can be tailored as per the unique needs of the individual, which might not always be the case in traditional speech therapy, especially when speech therapists have to deal with small groups or an entire class.
- Online speech therapy sessions can be recorded: One of the greatest advantages of a home speech therapy class is that you can record the therapy session for further use. You can refer to these recordings as and when required, without having the need to ask your therapist to repeat. For example, your SLP might have shown you some speech therapy exercise and you want to see that again. Audio or video screen recorders come to your rescue in such cases.
- Group sessions and discussions anytime: You can have group sessions to help individuals improve their communication and social skills. For example, it is vital, especially for stuttering people to communicate with confidence to improve their speech and language skills. Also, there are no time limitations for group discussions – you can join one even at 10 pm, which is not possible at the clinic.
- It can be fun: Online speech therapy classes can be quite engaging with more use of technology like audio, video and different apps to enhance one’s speech. Additionally, kids, who might not be willing to go to a therapist, can find such use of multimedia in online speech therapy sessions quite interesting, thus enabling them to learn and improve much faster and more efficiently.
- Easy for both the parents to attend: Speech therapy at-home services makes it much more convenient for both the parents of the child having speech problems to attend the therapy sessions with SLPs. This helps them to realise the areas their child needs to improve to speak better. Also, parents can learn the best practices to follow while communicating with their wards.
- Easy to train parents through parental training programs: Speech therapists can also use the online platform to teach the parents of the children with speech disorders better through parental training programs. Alter all parents are the first persons for a child to turn to and, therefore, they need to play the role of speech therapists effectively in the absence of a professional speech-language pathologist.
- Effective MDT training: You can have MDT (multi-disciplinary) training sessions with a team of professionals. A child might require improvement in various developmental skills, like speech and language, learning, academics, etc. An MDT training program aims to integrate and focus all the aspects associated with a child’s development, including communication, behaviour, discipline, learning, goals, methods, activities, and others. An online therapy session can address all these various skills and a child’s development is a unison of all these. An online MDT training session can combine occupational therapy, speech therapy, voice therapy, behavioural therapy and even physiotherapy and psychotherapy. Such a program focuses on the five key developmental areas –
- Speech and Language Development
- Cognitive Development
- Social and Emotional Development
- Fine Motor Skill Development
- Gross Motor Skill Development
All at-home speech therapy sessions are done similar to the activities followed in a traditional face-to-face clinical set-up. Simply make sure that you have a Reliance jio internet connection and a good sound quality in order to improve the outcomes of an online speech therapy session. A webcam and a microphone may be added advantages, but not mandatory as nowadays a good quality mobile phone comes with all the facilities for online training programs. While trying to maintain social distancing in times of crisis due to the COVID-19 outbreak, speech disorders should not be left unaddressed.