telepractice for therapists

Top 3 Things Speech Therapists Need to Know About Telepractice

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.

speech telepractice for schools

Why Your School Would Benefit From Online Speech Therapy

Online speech therapy has been catching mainstream attention in the recent years as SLP’s (speech language pathologists) have unanimously attested to its incredible potential. Telepractice allows for high-quality speech therapy sessions to happen virtually via secure technology.

 

What is Telepractice?

 

Telepractice is the application of modern day telecommunications to the delivery of visual and audio services over a distance by professional clinical practitioners as they reach the end user who is usually a patient (and in our case a student at your school).

 

What is Online Speech Therapy?

 

Online speech therapy is a form of telepractice (or teletherapy) that links highly trained therapists to students at your school who are in need of speech therapy. This happens over a high-speed Internet connections at both ends, a functional webcam, and a microphone headset. Your school contracts with the telepractice provider who then links your students with their team of speech-language certified pathologists.

 

Sessions usually involve listening, speaking, reading, writing, and even fun games. Session can get recorded at the end after which the SLP will generate an activity report to later use in the evaluation of a student’s progress. Students, of course, will be screened beforehand for any communication disorders and the therapy session will cover basic things like fluency, language, cognition, etc.

 

Any and all documents and the sessions themselves are strictly confidential and kept secure to ensure therapist-patient confidentiality. The therapists who your students would be seeing are nothing short of the best: highly trained SLPs with background helping children just like your students.

 

How Do Schools Benefit from Speech Telepractice?

 

Having online therapy sessions saves tremendously on the cost of therapy since all schools can now afford high-quality SLP services for their students without having to incur the expense of an in-house expert. Not only that, but any school that is suffering from a shortage of speech therapists can easily use telepractice to help solve the problem.

 

Not only that, but it makes it extremely easy for your students to gain the therapy services they need. Think about it: all your students need to do is sit in front of a computer monitor and actively engage with the speech language pathologist on the other end. Many children find this much less intimidating and even fun.

 

Using an online speech therapy agency also will help save students and therapists both time and money traveling to and from the session, which frees up more valuable time for taking much needed care of your students.

Whether your school is in a rural area with little access to therapists or you’re simply in need of an extended network of therapists able to provide superb speech therapy sessions for your students, telepractice affords you incredible flexibility.

 

Who Should We Choose?

 

Global Teletherapy has been helping schools like yours find the best and brightest therapists to help your students receive the speech therapy services they so desperately need. Call us now to find out how we can help your school today: (888) 511-9395.

 

telepractice for kids

Telepractice: Can SLPs Ameliorate Childhood Emotional Problems?

According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, kids with speech delays are more vulnerable to developing behavioral, social, or emotional problems as adults.  The study, over a period of 29 years, showed that children as young as five years old, who were handicapped with receptive language skills, experienced more mental health problems by the time they were 34.

The psychological and social consequences of receptive language problems don’t disappear, but rather continue to plague the sufferer into adulthood. The attendant problems of children with these delays are more complicated than initially thought, and there is a need to focus on the complexity of emotionally related challenges that may accompany the child throughout his life.  

Receptive Language Delay Symptoms

Symptoms are related to either problems associated with vocabulary or faulty word memory. Aside from the child being unable to recall words just recently learned, the kid may be behind his peer group regarding vocabulary usage. Other signs include the repetition of questions and phrases.  Or the child might not be able to organize his thoughts or follow directions.

Receptive Language Delay Causes

Unfortunately, the understanding of what causes receptive language problems at a young age seems to be severely lacking. Whereas it may seem otherwise, there doesn’t appear to be a correlation between receptive language challenges and the child’s intelligence. The condition may be a result of a brain injury, insufficient nutrition, or it may be hereditary.

What is the Parent’s Role?

As we all know, language is key to a child’s ability to make friends and socialize with other kids.  Receptive language delays can impede this critical dimension of the child’s healthy development promoting isolation that may remain on into adulthood.  These delays may impact holding onto a job or developing and sustaining relationships- recipes for mental health problems.

Parents should not become paralyzed when faced with this challenge.  They can do a lot for their child, even at such a tender age.  Sometimes it may be as simple as just paying attention or being patient when talking.  Taking the time to have a conversation or reading a book and discussing it can have a tremendous impact.

Early Intervention is Best

It is important to realize that a child who is handicapped by language delay may suffer from low self-esteem as well. This low self-esteem invariably will impact transitions from being childhood to adolescence and then onto adulthood. But don’t give up.  These children are by no means a lost cause.  They need the proper intervention, and they need it as soon as possible.

Telepractice: The Critical Role of the SLP

Enter telepractice speech pathologists who are both knowledgeable and skilled at treating this disorder. They often have a specialty in helping those receptive language delays.  Before beginning treatment, the child will be evaluated for expressive learning disorder in addition to testing for a hearing impairment or learning disabilities as well.

Treatment will include strengthening the child’s skills and empowering him in absorbing, processing and retaining information.  This includes becoming more adept at seeing and hearing information, and then understanding and remembering it.  Speech therapists who use telepractice have an array of tools and materials to assist in mastering these crucial skills

Don’t Despair

While children who suffer from a receptive language disorder are more prone to developing severe psychological and social maladies as well, don’t despair.  Help is on the way once you realize that a well-trained speech therapist adept at the art of telepractice is only a call away.  While the problem may be great, rest assured that the solution is even greater!

telepractice progress

Telepractice: What Should You Do if the Progress is Just Too Slow?

What does “real telepractice progress” mean?  While it’s a tough question to answer as there may be numerous variables, nonetheless, neither therapists nor parents should settle for limited progress without examining what is occurring.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that slow progress means that the speech therapy is “ineffective,” but it does beg the following questions.

1. Is the diagnosis correct?
2. Are there other problems besides the speech problem such as attention or behavioral issues?
3. Is the frequency and intensity of therapy calibrated correctly for this child?
4. Is there appropriate follow through happening at home?

If after asking these questions and similar ones, and after having taken the appropriate actions as well, the child continues to make slow progress, it may be time to look in an entirely different direction– inward!  In other words, it may be prudent to examine more carefully your telepractice strategy and tactics. Perhaps it is you, the therapist, that needs to make a change.

1 - Reset Expectations

Many of us when we (finally) decide to lose some weight want immediate, even instantaneous results. But unfortunately, that just isn’t the way that weight loss works (as those who have tried can attest to).  Telepractice is no different. Don’t look at this as a sprint but rather as a marathon.  Trust that the child will improve, perhaps not today or tomorrow, but it will happen.

2 - Stop Working and Start Playing!

When you see that the kid is becoming frustrated and well on the way to a meltdown, it’s high time to ease off the work and ease on the play. Forget (at least for now) the “plan” and find a way to engage your student in “play” instead.  And if possible “play” it the child's way, not yours.  Abandon those expectations and instead restore your rapport through calm and tranquility.

3 - Find the Telepractice Threshold

Excellent telepractice practitioners seem to have a knack for knowing how to engage their students, maintain their motivation and attention effectively, and elicit those responses that foster communication. Seasoned clinicians are always manipulating or adjusting situations to empower the child's sense of control while working toward a particular goal.

Ask yourself, “What is it about an excellent telepractice session that appears so effortless and enjoyable?”. The answer- through trial and error, the clinician has discovered the child’s stress tolerance and works ever so effortlessly with it.  Finding that threshold is an art.  And it may vary from one child to the next, or even with the same child on a different day.

4 - Change Your Mindset

When engaged in telepractice, many clinicians feel undue pressure to improve the child’s speaking almost immediately.  You feel the need to demonstrate your competence, capable of providing effective treatment. However, this can backfire and be stressful. Relax, take a deep breath, and smile.  When kids are having fun and relaxed, they communicate better.

5 - Slow Down!

When we are eager to see progress, we speak and move faster invariably putting pressure on the child.  Kids process language slower than adults and those with delays process even slower than other kids.  Talk slower and interject pauses here and there  This is turn will also slow down your physical movements which will ease the pressure.  Put simply, Chill out!

It May Not be as Tough as You Think

So if your student seems to be stuck in a rut, just not progressing the way she should, it may be time to step back, take a few deep breaths, and pause.  Does the problem reside in your student or in you?  Either way, most problems have solutions; some of them much simpler than it may appear. Just remember that insights and adjustments may be part of the process itself.