The Novelty of Teletherapy
Updated: Mar 25, 2021
Nothing gets a conversation going like my answer to the token “Where do you work?” question. My answer? “I’m a virtual SLP - I work online.” Almost always, the immediate response is: “Online? How does that work?” Allow me to explain The Novelty of Teletherapy.
It’s kinda like FaceTime..
Almost everyone knows what FaceTime is, or have at least used some sort of video-call. This immediately helps connect the dots for those grappling with the idea of the logistics of online therapy! But of course, telepractice is much more than just a FaceTime call.
My basic needs for a teletherapy session:
Headset with attached microphone
High-speed internet connection
Video-conferencing software (platform)
So sure, there’s a video-call where clinicians and clients and see and hear each other in real-time across space and time, but we can also share worksheets, pictures, and games in our platform “classroom.”
The actual therapy is basically the same…
There may be a physical barrier between clinician and client, but Teletherapy can potentially overcome so many other barriers across space and time. ASHA states that it can “overcome barriers of access to services caused by distance, unavailability of specialists and, or subspecialists, and impaired mobility.” (ASHA, 2019).
giving my multi-modality cues
applying principles of remediation in treating articulation, language, fluency, voice, AAC, and social communication disorders
facilitating productions and responses through props, worksheets, games, etc.
a team player
It’s just all online!
YES, it actually works…
“Does it work?” is probably my favorite follow up question. There have been countless occasions that I can see this question written right across the person’s forehead, but it won’t get asked out of wanting to be polite. But, YES, YES, YES. It works. And I have the data from therapy sessions to prove it.
But if you’re still skeptical about it, read some of the research:
Kaiser Permanente Sees Good Results With Video-Based Telehealth
The Efficacy of Telehealth-Delivered Speech and Language Intervention for Primary School-Age Children: A Systematic Review
A Pilot Investigation of Speech Sound Disorder Intervention Delivered by Telehealth to School-Age Children
For more information visit:
International Journal of Telerehabilitation
As with any novel addition to a field, there are both benefits and hindrances, but I believe and research shows, telepractice in the field of speech pathology has a great many benefits already and more continue to be discovered.
-Angela C. Hancock, MSP, CCC-SLP
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