Online Speech Therapy or Telepractice is the speech therapy provided via virtual platform using internet, webcamera and microphone. It is the application of telecommunications technology to deliver professional services at a distance by linking clinician to client for intervention and/or consultation (American Speech and Hearing Association, 2004). Janet Brown, the Director of Healthcare services in SLP at ASHA has stated “research shows that with telepractice a speech-language pathologist can provide speech therapy services, with the same results, as being there in person.”

The need of online speech therapy has been recognized by ASHA since 1998 to provide intervention services in remote areas where traditional therapy services are not available. In India, online therapy came more into picture during the period of lockdown due to COVID 19 pandemic. It ensured continuity of therapy and avoided regression in many clients. It allowed parents, children and adults to access speech therapy conveniently from home.

In online speech therapy you can access speech therapy conveniently from your home ensuring your safety. Research says that online speech therapy is as effective as in person therapy. Over past 1 ½ year, many clients have taken online sessions showing great improvement. With regular follow up, online speech therapy surely gives you expected results. It has widened the horizons of both therapist and client and has done wonders in many cases. Children were found to be more comfortable at their home environment, using their own toys. Parents also got to spend more time and witness each and every smallest development in their child closely. It is not possible always during in person therapy as at many clinics, parents are not allowed inside the therapy room.

In online speech therapy we need to hear and see the child. We, at Speakiepedia use customized therapy plan for each child based on his/her current speech and language skills, attention span and sitting tolerance. It involves various engaging therapy material and hands on activities based on each child’s needs and target goals. Overall, it’s a two way interactive process. This is evidence based protocol. We provide customized therapy material for our children. Parents also sit with the child and all the activities are explained to parents. Children find digital content and other activities very engaging. Also, at the end of the session, few strategies and activities are suggested to parents to follow up at home.

Yes! Adults having stuttering/stammering issues, voice problems, post stroke language difficulties, Parkinson’s disease, dementia etc. can avail online speech therapy services at Speakiepedia easily. We have seen great improvements in adult patients opting online speech therapy. Many clients found it convenient as it is totally hassle free, no travelling involved and you can access it even for home bound patients who cannot travel to clinics.

Online speech therapy is beneficial in many ways:

1. Increase your safety
2. Cost effective (beneficial as speech therapy is a long term process)
3. Eliminate commuting hassle. Excessive travelling may cause fatigue.
4. Enjoy flexible schedule- beneficial for working parents’, young working mothers, other working family members.
5. Least disruption in your work schedule.
6. Can be accessed from anywhere- home/ office/ school.
7. Comfortable home environment for kids
8. Increased consistency and regularity- regular follow up maintained even in situations like bad weather,health issue of parents, travelling to another place.
9. Technology is engaging for kids
10. Reduced chances of regression
11. Opportunity to receive services that previously were not available due to distance from health care facilities; lack of clinicians or specialized clinicians in a geographic area; and lack of transportation.
12. Easy access to required speech and audiology intervention for patients who are home bound due to reduced mobility.
13. No disruption in parents’, young working mothers’ work schedule.
14. Parents can learn many new things which helps kids in generalization of learned speech and language skills in day to day environment.
15. Parents can witness each and every small development in their child which is not possible during in person therapy always as in many clinics, parents are not allowed inside therapy room.