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Teletherapy: A smart way to facilitate speech therapy for adults and children

Nov 13, 2019
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People with complex communication needs require appropriate intervention programs to overcome their challenges. Speech therapy for adults and children is considered an effective solution. Is teletherapy equally beneficial? Read on to find out more.

What is Teletherapy?

Speech teletherapy or telepractice is the online delivery of therapy services implemented by taking advantage of state-of-the-art telecommunication technologies. It was duly approved by American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in 2005. Since then, it has been growing in popularity in the U.S and has emerged as a  game changer in the field of speech and language pathology.

Teletherapy breaks down distance barriers and opens up access to the best experts, defying all geographic limitations. It is very similar to traditional speech therapy except that the sessions happen virtually. Teletherapy can be used for consultation, assessment or evaluation, intervention, and regular follow-up of the client. 

Why Opt for Teletherapy?

There is a  staggering shortage of speech and language pathologists in several parts of the world. This results in the denial of much required speech therapy services in those regions. It is particularly devastating to see how the lack of access to early intervention programs affects several young children across the globe.

Teletherapy is a viable alternative to traditional therapy because access to SLPs is not limited by geographic distance. This means that schools and families in districts where the SLP shortage is acute, can avail of therapy services from experts based in other districts. Moreover, it can also serve as a means for people in rural and remote areas to avail of expert help and guidance. 

Advantages of Teletherapy

Here are some of the benefits of teletherapy:

  • Cost-effective : Since there are no transportation expenses involved, teletherapy costs less when compared to traditional therapy sessions. 
  • Time-saving : Since you can attend the therapy sessions without leaving your home, it saves time that would have otherwise been spent on commuting.
  • Flexibility : There are several experts licensed in telepractice speech therapy who offer their services at different time zones and schedules. So, parents and caregivers can fix appointments based on their convenience and availability.
  • Convenience : For those with motor disabilities, travelling to a therapist’s office can be an inconvenience. People on the autism spectrum can also feel anxious about unfamiliar places and can find the SLP’s office uncomfortable. Teletherapy enables such clients to connect with the therapist from the comfort of their homes, with their parents or caregivers by their side.
  • Wider Choice of Experts : Schools and families in small towns and villages can get the services of the most renowned and accomplished SLPs. They are no longer forced to rely on the services of the local professionals who may not have the necessary credentials.

Avaz and Remote Therapy

Avaz recognizes the need for employing modern technologies to ensure access of speech therapy to everyone. Avaz Live is a feature of Avaz AAC app that families and schools can use to seek remote therapy services from experts. There is no additional equipment that you need to buy other than the iPad or the Android tablet that you generally use. Besides, you don’t need to browse for, purchase, install, or update additional software for video conferencing. Avaz Live is, therefore, a seamless solution for Teletherapy.

The connection is completely secure because the parent has to explicitly grant access for the SLP to get control of the user’s screen. This ensures confidentiality which is of paramount importance.

With Avaz Live, remote therapy is not restricted to discussions alone. The SLP can take over Avaz user’s screen and tweak the settings. This allows them to evaluate how well the user has been using the AAC sytem, and to make necessary suggestions. Moreover, the SLP can also assess the progress made by the Avaz user and recommend steps for further development. 

How to use Avaz Live for Remote Therapy?

Here are a few screenshots that give you step by step instructions on how to use Avaz Live:

 

 

 

Do you think Speech teletherapy or telepractice speech therapy is a good idea? Do you agree that it can make speech therapy for adults and children easily accessible?  Please share your opinions in the comment section below.