What Is Online Speech Therapy?

 

The days of exclusively getting in your vehicle, driving to a brick-and-mortar location, and seeing your doctor or therapist may be a thing of the past. Let’s face it, a majority of what we do nowadays is a finger tap or a mouse click away.

During the past several years — and, more recently, the past few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic — online medicine has become more prominent out of necessity and convenience. To meet the needs of the rapidly changing times, Open Lines Speech and Communication has shifted to providing online speech therapy for all our clients while maintaining the highest quality of care so you can continue to reach your goals, whether it is to rebuild your life, improve your communication, or enhance your public speaking skills.

Read on to learn more about the telepractice delivery model, its benefits, and details about how it works. You can also visit our frequently asked questions page that addresses specific topics about pediatric or adult online speech therapy programs.

What Is Telepractice?

Telepractice uses secure, online platforms — and basic technology, which we will explain later — to deliver speech and voice therapy to clients. In 2005, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) approved telepractice as an appropriate and effective method of conducting speech therapy. Telepractice is a form of telehealth or telemedicine, although telepractice is the preferred word choice to differentiate it from traditional healthcare.

There are two types of telepractice: synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous telepractice refers to real-time, interactive sessions, whereas asynchronous telepractice occurs when a clinician records a lesson and stores data and images for use at a later time. While asynchronous telepractice provides more flexibility for the clinician and client, it lacks the benefit of real-time interaction, feedback, modified cuing (used in aphasia therapy), and other support that occurs during synchronous telepractice.

Using online speech therapy, adults and children can achieve the same level of in-person care from the convenience of their home, office, or school. While telepractice was already evolving before the COVID-19 outbreak, the current environment has encouraged and supported speech language pathologists to stay connected to clients remotely.

According to ASHA, telepractice helps treat:

  • Aphasia
  • Articulation disorders
  • Autism
  • Dysarthria
  • Dysphagia
  • Fluency disorders
  • Language and cognitive disorders
  • Neurodevelopmental disabilities
  • Voice disorders

How Open Lines Does Telepractice

At Open Lines, we help treat your cognitive, speech, language, voice, swallowing, or public speaking needs. With more than a decade of experience delivering our services and programs online, our clinicians have extensive experience and training in implementing online sessions for clients of diverse clinical backgrounds living with a wide range of abilities and needs. While online therapy may not be appropriate for every situation, many people are good candidates and can benefit significantly from telepractice.

Our priority during this time is to ensure our services continue to be accessible including to those individuals who are less comfortable navigating technology. For this reason, we do not require elaborate technology to take part in online sessions. The only things you need are a reliable internet connection and a device with a speaker and a camera. You can use a laptop, tablet, or smartphone to connect with one of our licensed speech language pathologists. You simply log in to your client portal, wait in a “virtual waiting room,” and your clinician will join you at the time of your appointment. Should you run into any issues, one of our staff members can guide you through setup over the phone before your session begins.

Who Do We Treat via Telepractice?

Our trained experts can assist a broad spectrum of age groups and needs, including a young child who has difficulty communicating with peers, an adult interested in improving communication skills to advance in the professional setting , a post-stroke adult with the goal to return to work, or an elderly adult who needs to improve their memory to function independently.

Online treatment programs cater to each individual and will vary depending on a client’s specific needs. Once you have completed your evaluation or assessment with our team, you will receive more detailed information about your individualized treatment program. Then you will meet with your clinician to establish goals and confirm a plan of action that meets your particular needs. We target exactly what you want, and not just what we think you want or need.

Benefits of Using Telepractice

Although you will not be in the same room with a speech language pathologist, online therapy boasts a number of benefits while maintaining the highest standards of care.

Most notably, online therapy is accessible. All you need is the technology to provide a secure connection and adhere to state, institutional, and professional regulations and policies.

Online speech therapy is also convenient, provides flexibility, and reduces the burden of transportation, especially if you have difficulty ambulating, are medically fragile, or have a busy schedule.

In the current climate, online sessions allow you to continue therapy without disruption and practice your skills in your own conversational context, without needing to wear personal protective equipment or compromising your health and safety.

Worried that the quality of treatment may be affected? According to the ASHA, research has shown that treatment outcomes are similar whether you are receiving in-person services or attending sessions from the comfort of your own home.

To ensure you are receiving quality and effective services, find a reputable speech therapist with telepractice experience. Our team is proud of our history successfully treating cognitive, speech, language, voice, and swallowing disorders through telepractice and is continually working to enhance and evolve the telepractice experience.

Contact Open Lines Today

At Open Lines, we offer a free phone consultation to learn if and how we can help you. We will also provide information on specific programs that may benefit you. During this free phone consultation with one of our expert clinicians, we can answer any questions you may have about the initial evaluation process or program. The following evaluations can be conducted online:

  • Speech and language
  • Cognitive-communication
  • Respiratory-voice
  • Motor-speech
  • Stuttering/fluency
  • Literacy evaluation
  • Public speaking

We understand our clients’ individual needs and circumstances. Whether you need voice therapy, accent reduction, help improving public speaking skills, or have suffered an injury, stroke, or are unable to attend sessions at our clinic, we can still help. We are licensed in New York, New Jersey, California, Connecticut, and Florida.

Please call us at 212-430-6800 or email care@openlinesny.com to learn more about our programs that will help you rebuild your life, improve your communication, or enhance your delivery.