Web-based tele-practice will help keep children on track

Our mandate as health care practitioners is to provide services to the public and to protect them from harm. In light of COVID-19, SpeakAble has therefore decided to temporarily cease all in-person visits (clients are encouraged to consult our COVID-19 notice).

This decision is not based on a fear of contracting the virus, but rather about being responsible citizens doing our part to protect those most at risk, including immunocompromised children who are part of the SpeakAble community.

We recognize that pausing speech therapy for an indefinite amount of time can be worrisome to many parents. It is difficult to predict how long it will be until things are back to business-as-usual. Speech-language pathologists advocate for early intervention and against the ‘wait and see’ approach, therefore it is our mission to provide accessible tele-practice services in order to continue to support your child’s speech and language development during this time.

How web-based speech therapy works

Tele-practice is a service delivery model used to describe the use of technology (audio and visual) to provide speech and language therapy remotely. It often requires the assistance of a facilitator, such as a family member, to support the process and ensure the participation of the child.

A facilitators role can include keeping the child within sight of the camera, redirecting the child back to the table if needed, or providing reinforcement (such as taking a turn at a game or blowing bubbles to reward the child after x attempts). Your clinician will let you know what to prepare for the initial session and work together to keep it as motivating as possible for your child.

Tele-practice can keep the momentum of your child’s progress going to help avoid regression upon return. It can also help provide structure and routine when your child’s days are at risk of meshing one into the other.

Is tele-practice right for all clients?

Those with good attention and focus can gain the most from the tele-practice delivery model. Tele-practice may be especially beneficial for children with articulation disorders, apraxia of speech and language delays. Your little ones are great candidates as well as the time can provide parents with an opportunity for coaching or a time to discuss individualized strategies for home.

Because children are inevitably more distracted in their own home environment, SpeakAble offers shorter 15-minute sessions for clients who have trouble focusing for prolonged periods. We should also point out that children with certain disorders such as autism spectrum disorder will still require in-person intervention, either through a facilitator or later with the speech therapist, once government travel guidelines are loosened.

Tele-practice is secure

As licensed practitioners, we take your privacy extremely seriously and only offer tele-practice services through a secure, end-to-end encrypted, HIPAA-compliant platform.

We are currently using the Doxy.Me platform. Your clinician will send you a personalized link that would direct you right into a virtual therapy room.

We recognize that there is worry and instability for all, and as a result, have temporarily reduced our rates as follows to reflect our commitment to provide ongoing treatment during difficult times:

– One hour of tele-practice (45 min direct time + 15 min indirect): $110

– Half hour of tele-practice (30 min direct time + 15 min indirect): $82.5

If you are interested in services via tele-practice, do not hesitate to contact us for more information. If your child’s clinician is not currently offering online services, we can work together to help bridge the gap. We are licensed to provide services to children in both Ontario and Quebec. Stay well, healthy and most of all, stay positive.

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