FAQs about Online Speech Therapy for Kids
Feb 6, 2022 Due to COVID-19, there are limited in-person speech therapy services available to families across the United States. There is also an increase in teletherapy or online speech therapy. But is speech therapy right for your child?
This article looks at the reasons for online speech therapy, its benefits, and the cost by answering online speech therapy’s frequently asked questions. The article’s aim is to help you decide whether teletherapy is right for you.
In This Article
- Who Needs Online Speech Therapy?
- What are the Benefits of Teletherapy?
- Is Online Speech Therapy for Kids Effective?
- Are there Limitations to Teletherapy?
- How do You Keep a Child Focused for Online Speech Therapy?
- What is a Parent’s Role in Teletherapy?
- Do Speech Therapists Provide Training for Parents?
- Resources for Online Speech Therapy
Who Needs Online Speech Therapy?
Teletherapy or online speech therapy can be utilized for a variety of reasons and can almost everybody. Here are some speech and language disorders, feeding disorders, and developmental conditions that online speech therapy can help.
- Hearing impairments
- Cognitive delays
- Cleft lip or palate
- Feeding and swallowing disorders
- Difficulties with articulation
- Fluency disorders (stuttering)
- Respiratory issues (certain breathing disorders affecting speech)
- Receptive disorders (understanding and processing language)
- Expressive disorders (Difficulty combining words, limited vocabulary, and socially appropriate language context)
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What are the Benefits of Teletherapy?
Since the start of the pandemic, we are living in a world of social distancing and a rise in online services. This includes a dramatic increase in doctor’s appointments and evaluations. Speech-language pathology services are no different. While not every child can do online speech therapy, there are many benefits to online speech therapy for toddlers and older children. Here are just some.
Online speech therapy not only prevents the further spread of the virus but lowers your family’s overall risk. Since you will not be interacting in person, your family can stay safe and focus on remaining healthy!
No Travel Time
Most children need speech therapy with a qualified professional one or more times a week depending on the severity of their issue. Not having to travel to and from appointments results in less stress for you and your children. It is especially helpful if your child has mobility issues! Plus, staying home and connecting virtually means the child is more comfortable from the start.
May Cost Less
Depending on your child’s speech pathology needs and your insurance, online speech therapy may cost less than going in-person to appointments. Always remember to discuss out-of-pocket and insurance costs with your teletherapy service.
Most teletherapy programs consist of 30-minute sessions with one-on-one interaction with a designated speech therapist for your child. Many programs are available starting at the low price of $60 for one session. But different online therapy programs for toddlers can range from $60 to $125 per session.
Online speech therapy provides your child the same quality of speech services from a qualified speech and language pathologist. These experts typically earn no less than a master’s degree and are specialized in dealing with a variety of disorders affecting speech. What’s even better – speech and language pathologists are trained to provide specific therapies virtually!
Many toddlers and kids engage well with electronic devices, especially when it comes to educational programs. Speech pathologists engage toddlers and kids with a variety of interactive activities, games, and exercises for acquiring communication skills.
Is Online Speech Therapy for Kids Effective?
The short answer: Yes! It is highly effective for children with a variety of speech, communication, and feeding issues. Whether your child is struggling with one or more speech issues, a qualified speech therapist can help!
Furthermore, online speech therapy services are proving beneficial and effective for families who live in rural areas with limited services. If you live in a rural area, you may want to consider teletherapy!
Are there Limitations to Teletherapy?
Online speech therapy is an incredible service for many kids, but some children may not have the attention span to engage virtually in a one-on-one 30-minute session. Along with needing a good attention span, some children with cognitive delays may not fully understand how to interact with someone virtually on a phone, tablet, or computer.
Your child does need to understand the concept of interacting with someone over an electronic device and understand back-and-forth communication. If you feel your child is unable to participate in online speech therapy, there are speech therapy tools like the Speech Blubs App to increase engagement and improve their speech!
How do You Keep a Child Focused for Online Speech Therapy?
A 30-minute session is long for a toddler or preschooler because the activity requires great focus. Thankfully, speech therapists design a program for your child’s skill level, difficulties, and interests. They are well-equipped to guide your toddler through online activities to tackle speech issues that gain and keep their attention. For play-based or hands-on activities, parents will need to gather whatever supplies are needed and guide their child through the activity while the speech therapist works with the child on word associations, annunciation, and new concepts.
What is a Parent’s Role in Teletherapy?
A parent’s role is everything with online speech therapy! Not only are you there to assist your child with technical aspects, but parents are essential for helping to keep a child focused.
Here are some ways to help your child stay focused and engaged during teletherapy:
- Provide a distraction-free environment: Especially from other electronic devices.
- Stay with them: Sit beside them during online speech therapy to help keep them focused.
- Motivate them with activities: Reward your child after the session with their favorite fun activity for motivation.
- Create a schedule: Add teletherapy to your child’s weekly schedule.
Do Speech Therapists Provide Training for Parents?
Parents do not need special training! All you need to know is how to connect virtually with your child’s SLP. Still, the success of online speech therapy depends on parents. While a speech therapist only has 30-minute sessions to address speech issues, parents need to become involved by carrying over anything their child learned in teletherapy to their daily life. If the speech therapist focused on certain words or annunciation of specific words, start adding in activities involving those words to help your child practice.
Resources for Online Speech Therapy
To help make your child’s teletherapy more successful, here are some amazing speech therapy resources!
- Home Speech Home includes worksheet activities for speech development, word lists, and more!
- Allison Fors creates printable and interactive speech therapy worksheets, activities, and puzzles.
- Speech Blubs Blog is filled with information from parents, teachers, and speech therapists to help guide parents through a variety of development questions related to speech, language, and more.
- Speech Blubs App is a specialized app built for engaging children by video modeling speech activities and games.
Whether you choose in-person speech therapy appointments or attend online, know that online speech therapy services are available to you wherever you are. All you need is an electronic device and a reliable internet connection to help give the best start for improving your child’s speech, language, and communication!