As the entire world is fighting the challenges related to social restrictions like staying at home and being limited in our usual life routines, staying at home is even more difficult for the children. One of the most apparent problems is being unable to visit your child’s special speech therapy sessions. Since it is not something that can be canceled easily, especially if some progress has already been achieved, distance learning speech therapy or telepractice can become an efficient solution.
The children these days are not only missing their helpful therapy sessions but also have to deal with school closings and the general uncertainty that places them in a stressful environment. Turning to an online solution might not be the first thing you would think of, yet it is worth trying just like checking the list of special games aimed at the basic cognitive skills like matching the pictures with words or working with the memory cards. The most important thing is to keep our children inspired and happy since there is nothing like seeing a happy smile of a youngster discovering something amazing!
The Legal Matters of Speech Therapy Telepractice
Coming back to telepractice, the ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) defines it as “the application of telecommunications technology to the delivery of speech-language pathology and audiology professional services at a distance by linking clinician to client or clinician to clinician for assessment, intervention, and/or consultation.”
The question is whether these services are good and available. It is recommended to check with the ASHA website to find out more about your state’s Telepractice Requirements. Moreover, this is the safest way to acquire contact information and licensure.
The Types of Teletherapy
You might be wondering about how speech therapy telepractice might work in practice, which is only natural since you can take more than one approach. The most popular methods include:
Synchronous. It is based on interaction with the child and represents the most popular method. It is the closest solution to an in-person therapy session. Without a doubt, parents must be always present during the sessions to guide the content and avoid any concerns related to Internet connection failures or lack of sound or video stream.
Asynchronous. It has a store-and-forward approach to therapy. It is a more complex method where you will have to talk to a trained speech therapy provider who will record your conversation and then provide you with additional help or requirements by matching you with a specialist.
Hybrid. It mixes both of the aforementioned ways. It often includes more than one person for the session with a specialist who is leading the speech therapy session and another expert who is taking notes and guides the first specialist in case of such necessity.
When scheduling a speech therapy online with your child, you may have to face some waiting. The reason for that is that some states require speech therapists to submit their session contents and plans for approval. Unfortunately, the requirements and the limitations of telepractice in the United States will vary significantly, which is why you must discuss every technical matter or your preferences in advance.
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One of the helpful solutions would be to use various speech training app solutions that will help your children complete certain activities like articulation games and have the teletherapy specialist check the results as you keep relevant progress notes. Doing so will keep both parents and children happy as they will be able to keep the track of their success together and set new aims each day. It also creates a sense of belonging, which is so important for the children. The most important is your participation and involvement because you are the person your child trusts and every new challenge is always seen through the lens of a parent or a legal guardian.
Without a doubt, distance learning speech therapy also requires a special quiet environment that can turn home into a “physician’s office” where your child can feel safe while keeping concentrated. It is not easy to do when you have older children running around or you have to manage your university tasks on the same day. As a solution, you can check reliable academic help services and have some of your concerns addressed. For example, you can have a professional proofread your paper or help you with the structure of your task. By doing so, you can focus more on your child’s or a sibling’s distance learning speech therapy sessions and come up with new ideas to discuss with a specialist.
The Distance Learning Speech Therapy Activities
The chances are high that your youngster has already embraced the technology or has expressed fascination with all these handheld mobile devices. It is a reason to consider certain remote games that can be played online and offline, including:
Origami. It can be used as a way to assist sequencing, oral language, and articulation aspects by providing visual instructions and directions. It will only take a square piece of paper and remote guidance. Most importantly, you can use different color schemes to let your child focus on instructions like “half-way down” or “upper-right corner”. It is a great way to reflect and coordinate words as the child can react or add an auditory element to the game .
Distance Learning Scavenger Hunt. It is another great way to manage your distance language therapy session as the child addresses his or her language skills. It is also great to play around the house or in your backyard (if possible). Ask your child to find and take pictures of certain hidden items that are:
SMALLER than a puppy dog.
LARGER than a shoe.
The COLOR of the grass.
Can be only found in SUMMER.
Of course, you can customize your scavenger hunt instructions along with your speech therapy specialist and manage your results by letting your child place a tick once something has been completed and discovered.
Most importantly, remember to learn about limitations and possibilities of distance learning speech therapy first. Never forget that every success starts at home because of the genuine love and care that you share with each other!
*The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not necessarily reflect the views of Otsimo Inc.*