Telepractice (or teletherapy) is increasingly becoming popular and mainstream –– especially after a strong endorsement from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), which has pointed out that telepractice services are a very effective way to offer speech therapy.
Telepractice, for starters, is the custom of using telecommunications technology to remotely or at a distance deliver speech-language practices to a client or patient.
We proudly bring you the top three things therapists like you need to know about telepractice.
1 - It is Very Effective and Convenient
Perhaps the most important fact and benefit of telepractice is that it is proven to be very efficient and convenient both to the clinician and the student.
For instance, the clinician will benefit from less travel. The teletherapist can make his or her own schedule, which will allow him or her to offer teletherapy to other time zones for extra hours after the regular job because he or she can comfortably work from home.
Also, the utilization of a technology-based interface will incentivize the student or learner to engage more as the idea of being on a computer often fascinates most kids. The student can record and replay the sessions so as to self-critique and measure his or her progress too.
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits to the student is that it doesn’t matter if he or she stays in the rural or far-flung areas without access to speech therapists. He or she can now reach a therapist remotely and benefit from the interactions.
Worth noting, a body of growing research indicates that though this is a relatively new method of speech therapy, the results are astonishingly excellent. As per Towey, 2013, students receiving teletherapy perform exceedingly well and surpass even the national benchmarks in social pragmatics, articulation skills, and expressive and receptive language.
2 - Telepractice is Endorsed by ASHA
Telepractice has received a pat on the back from the largest organization in the field: ASHA. ASHA states that telepractice is a recommended mode of service delivery for speech-language pathologists. However, it asks individuals who seek to provide telepractice to abide by a code of ethics. The code of ethics has rules which require teletherapists to only engage in aspects of the profession that are in their competence.
3 - Teletherapists can Employ Teletherapy in Any Setting
ASHA has permitted teletherapists to offer their services in any setting so long as the services comply with institutional, professional, federal and state guidelines. Therefore, clinicians can use speech therapy in client homes, schools, hospitals, childcare facilities, business offices, outpatient care facilities, etc. There is no limitation except that the services should comply with the relevant guidelines.
When offering this service, clinicians are bound to maintain the same standard of service of a face-to-face environment. Clinicians are required to obey the ASHA’s Code of Ethics that requires them to provide professional services while keeping the client’s welfare in mind.
Although the practice is still a bit new, it is becoming clear that it is an extremely effective method of offering speech therapy and a great way for a clinician to have a work-life balance and flexibility.