Teletherapy is an evidence-based service delivery model that allows clients and therapists to interact in a fun and motivating way, while targeting specific speech and language goals. It allows the therapist to engage parents or communication partners to be part of the session to maximise therapy input and support carryover of goals at home. Teletherapy also allows services to be discrete and timely from the comfort and safety of your own home. As a result of COVID-19, there has been a distinctive rise in the use of e-learning. Current and ongoing research suggests that online learning has been shown to increase retention of information.
Teletherapy enables therapists to use video communication over the Internet to provide face to face speech and language therapy at home. Many children are more motivated to engage in this type of therapy as they are familiar with using screen devices and can be rewarded with immediate or delayed rewards such as games, stickers, video’s or songs on screen or in partnership with parents.A therapy platform designed for use by speech and language therapists is used to provide teletherapy. This allows video conferencing, whiteboard, shared control of mouse, in-session document sharing, video sharing, screen sharing, interactive apps and secure messaging.
The American Association of Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) has looked at 40 peer-reviewed studies which confirm teletherapy produces outcomes that are as good as direct contact for services including;
- Articulation (speech sound) therapy
- Expressive and receptive language therapy
- Parent coaching and strategy implementation
Emerging research in telepractice treatment for ASD clients shows success in both direct and indirect interactions. For some clients, teletherapy interaction may be less overwhelming to a client with ASD and technology may hold their interest more so than an in-person session. Therapy strategies such as social narratives, social behaviour mapping and video modelling can all be completed using teletherapy. Indirect techniques may then be modelled and discussed using parent discussion and coaching.