What Is Online Speech Therapy, and Is It Right for You?Leanne Sherred, M.S., CCC-SLP
In-person speech therapy used to be the only way to receive treatment from a certified speech-language pathologist. But today's technology has changed that. A growing number of children and adults receive speech therapy at home, on their schedule, via video conferencing. And numerous academic studies have demonstrated that online speech therapy is just as impactful and effective as therapy provided in person.
Here are the top five reasons online speech therapy may be a better choice for you and your family.
1. Online speech therapy gives you wider access to qualified speech therapists.
Finding a speech therapist used to be limited by geographical location. You could only attend a speech therapy practice that was within driving distance, meaning you had fewer options to choose from.
It’s no different than how we used to shop. Remember shopping before the existence of the internet? You were restricted to stores within your immediate area.
With online speech therapy, you have access to an entire network of speech therapists across your entire state. This is especially beneficial for people who live in more rural areas.
With more options than ever before, it’s easier to find the perfect speech therapist that meets your family's needs.
2. Online speech therapy is way more convenient.
Many people live busy lives with packed schedules, especially if kids are in the picture. Between school, work, errands, and everyday life, finding time to attend in-person therapy sessions on a regular basis can be difficult--if not impossible.
Think of the travel time, for one. Commutes can be lengthy, and you might miss speech therapy appointments because of scheduling conflicts or bad weather. What’s worse, most traditional speech therapy settings are only open during normal business hours. For many people, that just doesn’t work.
Online speech therapy removes this problem entirely. You have greater flexibility to schedule sessions on the days that work best, at the times that are most convenient. Want to schedule a session on Saturday afternoon? Not a problem. Prefer to meet at 7. p.m. after dinner? By all means.
3. Online speech therapy can be more comfortable.
If you or your child feel embarrassed or shy when it comes to speech therapy, you’re not alone. Many people get nervous or tense at the thought of talking to someone face-to-face. For some people, even the thought of calling an office to make an appointment can be daunting.
With online speech therapy, doing sessions from the comfort of your own home can help put you at ease. And when you’re comfortable and confident, your sessions will be more effective.
4. Online speech therapy makes it easier for parents to get involved.
When a child is receiving speech therapy, the involvement of their caregiver is a major asset. You can better understand your child’s difficulties, take an active role in their progress, and reinforce therapy techniques outside of the session, helping them practice during their daily lives.
This level of involvement can be difficult if your child is attending speech therapy in school or at an office. With teletherapy, it's easy to sit next to them and learn together.
5. Online speech therapy is more affordable.
Running an in-person speech therapy practice isn’t cheap. These practices have many expenses that aren’t directly related to your care. There’s the price of renting a space, paying for utilities, and other operational costs. As with any business, these costs are often passed down to the consumer.
How much does online speech therapy cost? The pricing will vary by provider, but generally, it will be less than an in-person practice--even though you receive the same level of quality care and treatment. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.