Teletherapy: Definitions and Descriptions
Teletherapy refers to therapy that is provided by a licensed and certified therapist via a secure video connection. Modern-day technology can now connect pediatric speech, occupational and physical therapists with children no matter the distance or situation.
Telespeech – teletherapy – telehealth – telepractice – telerehabilitation…as with many labels, it’s interchangeable in this regard.
If you thought home-based therapy had benefits or was convenient, hear us out on teletherapy.
How does teletherapy work?
Through a secure platform, experienced pediatric therapists work with children via an internet connection, web portal, and two-way live video. Through the platform, the child can interact with the therapist just as he/she would if it was an in-person session. The opportunities are vast: hands-on activities, interactive games, comprehensive evaluations and unique treatment plans. For our youngest clients, a parent, or other adult is on the end with the client providing cueing and any “hands-on” techniques that might be needed.
Have you used any type of video calling on your cell phone? Then you know how the foundation of live video works! Teletherapy sessions are identical to face-to-face sessions, except, instead of in person, you’re on a two-way video call.
Does it have the same impact as traditional face-to-face therapy?
Luckily, there has been a lot of research on telepractice as it continues to grow as a service delivery model. Research has found very few differences between telepractice and traditional in-person therapy!
Also, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) has recognized teletherapy as an effective method of service delivery since 2005.
What do I need for teletherapy?
If you have a computer, a microphone, and a camera (which most computers/laptops have automatically now), you’re set! You’ll also need a strong internet connection. As long as you have those items, you can engage in teletherapy sessions.
What are the key benefits of teletherapy?
- Convenience! You don’t have to leave your home, you don’t have to feel like you need to clean up for a clinician to visit your home, and you don’t even have to put on shoes if you that’s not your thing.
- Kids love technology. Yes, there are opposite opinions regarding technology with children as a whole, but sometimes it needs to be embraced. Today’s children just don’t know a time without screens – and that’s OK. Most children love online video interaction and are highly motivated by it.
- Comfort Level: Children can feel more comfortable on screen versus having a therapist in their home.
- Access to providers you typically wouldn’t have access to otherwise. Those in rural areas can access therapy in their kitchen instead of having to drive an hour to a rural clinic. If you need a specialized treatment approach that few are qualified in, teletherapy can connect you with that special clinician. The options provided to clients has grown tremendously with the introduction of teletherapy.
- Built-in social distancing. With our recent worldwide health concerns due to COVID-19, teletherapy has become a popular and highly successful service delivery model that keeps everyone safe!
Is it a secure network?
Yes. The platform TherapyWorks uses is a secure platform that is compliant with HIPPA regulations.
Is it really for everyone?
With any type of treatment, there isn’t a blanket statement that can be made with a “100% guarantee that this will work!” Just like some children respond better to whole groups than small groups, or some children can wear long sleeves and others can’t – some children will benefit greatly from this method and others will benefit more from a traditional face-to-face, 1:1 setting.
What are some other perks?
Less canceled sessions due to sickness. Is Bobby’s brother sick and you don’t want to pack up the kids to take Suzie to therapy? With teletherapy, you don’t have to.
There are no transportation concerns. Since you get to do therapy in your home, you don’t have to worry about the car-sharing schedule to get to a clinic on time.
Children’s attention may be greater with teletherapy. Children are drawn to technology. The interactive platform and interactive games on the computer with the SLP are motivating and keep a lot of students engaged for longer amounts of time.
Teletherapy enables our therapists and clients to stay safe and healthy!
If I don’t like teletherapy, can I switch to in-home sessions?
Absolutely! If it ends up not being a good fit or if you decide for another reason, contact your therapist or TherapyWorks directly to initiate the conversation of changing service delivery models.
RELATED: Teletherapy Works!
Does TherapyWorks have openings?
We do! Currently, we are accepting clients throughout the United States. If you are interested in setting up a teletherapy session for your child, please complete a short questionnaire about your child via the link below to schedule a free phone consultation with an experienced TherapyWorks therapist. We would love to get started with you!
Karlene Tarran MS, CCC-SLP,
TherapyWorks Speech Pathologist