Speech therapy is a whole discipline that is dedicated to treating speech problems and disorders, and the therapists are also known as speech-language pathologists. Their assignment and goal are to improve communication with their patients, no matter their age. Sometimes the people may have problems their whole life, but there are some cases when the disorders are developed after childhood trauma or some other trauma as they are adults, including brain injuries and stroke. People lose their ability to talk and speak clearly after some unfortunate events, or they deny communicating with their family and friends because the speech is somehow affected.
The disorder includes so many different issues that can be treated with an appropriate approach, including problems with fluency, articulation, resonance, and issues when saying some particular word or letter. These issues can be a result of the shape of the tongue and teeth, problems with the nose, or some neurological disorders that are affecting the ability to speak correctly. Speech therapy is one of the most anticipated methods for those who want to improve their expression, no matter what’s the reason behind it.
The therapist should meet the client, so they can estimate the specific requirements and tailor an appropriate therapy, just for their issues. Nowadays, most therapists and clients prefer an online way of working, because of already known reasons (of course, the pandemic), so they can protect themselves. But, that opened a lot of questions, including is online therapy really effective, as when they meet personally at the office?
Why and how – the reasons and ways to go for online speech therapy?
When the pandemic first hit last year, many people were asking themselves how they will proceed to work, and will they be able to save their business. The therapists were just a small part of the people who were affected by the urgent measures. Also, the parents who have children with some health issue, or who need to visit a therapist due to some reason, were freaked out by the situation. But, we didn’t need much time to move everything we do online. The benefits? There are a lot of them!
For example, you don’t need to leave your home to talk to the therapist, and that means you won’t expose yourself at risk of getting infected with the coronavirus. Also, these sessions are cheaper than visiting the office, and accessible to everyone, no matter where they are based. The therapy can include interactive tasks, that can also be done through the computer. The main requirement is for both the therapist and client to have a nice device and unlimited access to a high-speed Internet connection.
Once you have all of that, you can join the meeting and start your session. The effect is the same as face-to-face therapy. Sure it’s a little bit different, and it can be challenging first, but then you will realize that the results are completely the same, if both sides are ready to adapt to that particular situation.
What happens during the session?
The therapist first needs to identify the reasons why the client suffers from some speaking and communication disorder. That may take a lot of time, but it’s better to know that they can diagnose it properly, instead of hurrying with the therapy. The therapist can ask the person to interact, describe objects, read paragraphs, encourage them to talk, ask them to mimic some sounds, make breathing exercises, and teach them some communication skills and tactics.
They are taking every possible aspect of the problem, including the physical reasons why someone can’t communicate properly, their cognitive approach, and other problems. The online sessions can include a lot of exercises and training, using certified apps, games, and interactive workbooks for the client. It’s the same as at the office, but with a huge difference – you will be more comfortable while doing that.
No one can say how long it will last, because every client/patient has a different and unique issue. The therapist should take into mind the age, the level of inability to speak properly, the potential medical conditions that caused the disorder, and then estimate the frequency and length of the therapy. Also, if there are improvements, they can make some changes, so they can see if the patient is getting better through time.
The outcome and results
It’s normal not to be sure if the online therapy will work for you or your child. But, you must keep in mind that these therapies work better for younger people because they are more open to communicate and collaborate with the pathologist who is working with them. Also, the results can be different depending on the nature of the cause. But, every improvement is important, and we should be thankful for that. It’s on you to recognize the issue and ask for help immediately.
Surely you want to be as more comfortable as you can while doing that, and the online sessions are allowing all of that to us – we are at home, we don’t need to spend additional money for transport, and travel to the therapist’s office, and still see significant improvement after a couple of weeks.
You have to know and remember that your therapist is always a trained person in the field of communication, development, and disorders, so they can improve their speech and cognitive communication, as they identify the cause and the best way to treat it. Some people choose to do this by phone, but it’s always better to see to who you are talking to and do the exercises and tasks they give to you at the very same moment.
Remember, this is not something that can be cured and resolved with a couple of sessions. You have to know that you will need to dedicate a lot of time and effort (and pay the price) if you want to see a significant improvement over the months. But it’s completely worth it, no matter if you choose online or one-on-one therapy.