Updated: Nov 25, 2020
As of January 2020, 4.54 billion people were reported to have access to the internet! With so many people using technology to their advantage, it’s no surprise that therapy has been moving in the online direction as well. Teletherapy is more advanced than ever before, and we’re here to tell you how you could benefit from it.
WHAT IS IT?
‘Teletherapy’, like traditional therapy, is led by a licensed Speech Language Pathologist (or Occupational Therapist for some services). Whether you’re looking for therapy for your child or yourself, teletherapy can help you with a variety of services, including speech disorders, stuttering, language and literacy, accent modification, autism assessment, public speaking, voice disorders, and more.
WHAT DO I NEED?
Online therapy makes our services even more accessible – all you need is a webcam, microphone, and high-speed internet to get connected with us. This can be super helpful for anyone with a busy schedule, for clients living remotely (or internationally), for those who have kids to look after, or just to access therapy from the comfort of your own home.
Worried about privacy? You can feel safe with us: we use a software called OnCall Health that connects our therapists to our clients securely.
HOW DO I KNOW IT WORKS?
With technology becoming part of our daily routines, more research is being done on the effectiveness of online therapy. Here’s what some of the existing studies had to say:
● When comparing children who received online therapy versus in-person therapy for difficulty with speech sounds, researchers in 2017 found that “both [...] made significant improvements in performance and equal gains were demonstrated”.
● A pilot study compared students working with an SLP through online therapy with those going to in-person sessions. They found that “mastery or adequate progress was accomplished for 88% of the objectives for telepractice (42/48) and 84% of the objectives for on-site”.
● Four families in 2010 used teletherapy with an Occupational Therapist for their children with autism. The parents were able to make the program work for them, and “telerehabilitation provided the therapist the opportunity to observe the parent–child interaction in the home environment and to provide meaningful and real-time feedback”.
CAN ANYONE USE ONLINE THERAPY?
Most existing studies that have been done on teletherapy were with kids, which means more research needs to be conducted with adults. However, we practice teletherapy with adults, and we’re confident that we can provide therapy for all ages!
One thing to keep in mind is that there can be some unique circumstances where teletherapy isn’t ideal, but that doesn’t mean an SLP can’t help you. Whatever your situation, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to discuss what would work best.
Does teletherapy sound like the right fit for you? Give us a call or email us to find out more or schedule an appointment. If you’re still undecided, or if you think in-person therapy is more your style, that’s okay too! We’re ready to help you in any way we can, so contact us and see what we can do for you.
Clement, J., & Feb. (2020, February 3). Global digital population 2020. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/617136/digital-population-worldwide/
Grogan-Johnson, S., Alvares, R., Rowan, L., & Creaghead, N. (2010). A pilot study comparing the effectiveness of speech language therapy provided by telemedicine with conventional on-site therapy. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20197354
Toth-Cohen, S., & Gibbs, V. (2011). Family-Centered Occupational Therapy and Telerehabilitation for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/07380577.2011.606460
Wales, D., Skinner, L., & Hayman, M. (2017). The Efficacy of Telehealth-Delivered Speech and Language Intervention for Primary School-Age Children: A Systematic Review. Retrieved from https://telerehab.pitt.edu/ojs/index.php/Telerehab/article/view/6219
Andalusia Speech Therapy has two Toronto speech therapy clinics and offers speech teletherapy to anywhere in the world. Contact us more for information.