An introduction: What is teletherapy?

what is teletherapy

There’s a buzz in the air…it’s the sound of people talking about teletherapy! Some people have no clue about it, some know a little, some want to learn more about it, some are very apprehensive and some don’t want anything to do with it.

Hear me out here… it’s not for every client and it’s not for every Speech-Language Pathologist but when it works, it works!

It is fun, interactive and highly motivating. It takes time to feel comfortable with this therapy modality but the creative therapist will find it is a wonderful way to teach skills and promote independent carryover of skills.

Teletherapy requires the therapist to build the skill of talking through what they’re thinking in a way that helps your client understand exactly what you want them to do. Your words help your client “see” and “feel” what you mean. We have to shape our language so that words become our helping hands because we can’t reach across the screen and touch our clients in order to manipulate placement, posture, etc. What you’ll notice over time is that parents, e-helpers and caregivers become more involved because they have a better understanding of what you are doing. This increased understanding promotes natural practice of carryover tasks throughout the client’s daily life. And this does amazing things for meeting goals!

So what is it?

Teletherapy takes place when you deliver therapy remotely, that is, you are in one location and your client is at another location. The actual therapy is provided by using secure, video conferencing technology. During your interactive therapy session, you and your client can see and hear each other in real-time. Teletherapy can also be pre-recorded. I use pre-recorded methods to provide homework and further explain concepts. Some Speech-Language Pathologists and families find it useful to use a hybrid method consisting of live, interactive therapy and pre-recorded sessions.

Teletherapy gives families and therapists freedom and flexibility.

Where does it happen? Therapy happens online in a virtual meeting space. The therapist is usually at home and the student is either at a school or in their home. You meet at a virtual “speech office” which is the online platform used to deliver therapy.

To learn about teletherapy platforms, check out this article: What is a teletherapy platform?

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