Teletherapy: started out of necessity, continuing out of success
Our speech language pathologists are highly skilled in providing assessments, consultations, and treatment services via Zoom, a HIPAA-compliant video communication platform. All you need is a phone, laptop, or computer with video/audio capabilities and a phone or internet connection.
What services are provided via telepractice?
Speech, Language, Feeding and Orofacial Myofunctional Evaluations and Therapy
Will teletherapy work for my child?
Recommendations for telepractice are based on the professional recommendations of our therapists. With advice from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) our office has created guidelines to inform our decisions for in-person or telepractice services. We are successfully providing services in the following areas:
- Expressive and Receptive Language
- Articulation and Phonological Processing
- Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders
- Executive Functioning
- (Central) Auditory Processing
- Before sessions, make sure your device of choice is working, charged, and that the camera and microphone are fully functional.
- Angle or adjust the camera on your device so we can see your child’s full face on the screen.
- Set your child up in a quiet, well-lit environment, free from distractions.
How to prepare your child
- Prior to the teletherapy session, engage your child in a quiet activity. For most children, transitioning from highly active play (like roughhousing) or highly engaging activities (like screen time) to sitting and watching a therapist on a screen is hard.
- Have your child use the bathroom prior to the session beginning.
- Exit out of apps, additional windows, and turn off notifications that might be distracting during the session.
- Clear all non-essential items from your child’s table, desk, or workspace.
What is the parent role in telepractice therapy?
These age ranges are just suggestions and your therapist will be able to best advise you on their recommendations.
- For children under age three: Parents/caregivers are available and present for all sessions.
- For children ages four to six: This age group is hugely variable. Some children are able to independently participate while others need the support of an adult. We suggest talking with your therapist to determine what is best for your child.
- For children ages six and older: Parents/caregivers be within earshot to assist with technical difficulties that may arise. We also ask that an adult join the session for the final five minutes to review the session and any home activities that might be assigned.
What does an assessment look like via telepractice:
Research shows that telepractice assessments are as reliable and valid as in-person assessments when administered following best practices.
- For children under age three: Parents/caregivers are available and present the entire time. The assessment will rely on observation of play and other interactions as well as parent reporting and interview. We may talk first while your child gets comfortable, or for other children who are ready to jump in, we may talk at the end. There will be back and forth conversations with parents throughout the assessment.
- For children ages four to six: Assessments are a combination of play-based and more formal testing. Our therapists are highly attuned to read your child’s cues and will offer breaks throughout the testing. Some children in this age range still need their parents present, others do not. We ask that if you are in the room or just off-screen, that you defer to the therapist while they take the lead in interacting with your child.
- For children ages six and older: Parents/caregivers should be within earshot to assist with technical difficulties that may arise. Generally, these assessments are structured as a more formal assessment and can use different tests depending on reported concerns. These formal assessments provide scores and a way to measure abilities in the tested areas and against peers. Your child is given encouragement and short breaks when needed. Our clinicians are skilled at working with a variety of children and have a range of strategies they use to help make the process as successful and engaging as possible.
For all assessments, it is important that you follow your clinician’s lead during testing. Parents, understandably, love to help their children with prompting and providing cues! While this might be helpful to your child in the moment, it skews our results. For children who need the support of their parents to sit and attend to the screen, we ask that you do not provide any cues or hints to your child as benign as they may seem. These include nonverbal supports such as pointing or gesturing. If the therapist needs your assistance, she will ask you for help.
Telepractice services are billed to insurance the same way that in-person services are! Please see our pricing page for more information about specific providers and out of network reimbursement.