Having your Speech Pathology appointments via Telehealth can be a great way to engage in therapy services.
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth or Teletherapy refers to the provision of health services via electronic information and communication technologies. Telehealth has been used for many years to improve access to healthcare services for people who live in regional, rural and remote areas. Video-conferencing is one of the main forms of Telehealth. It can be used to provide a range of services including assessment, therapy and parent training and education.
Due to physical distancing measures as a result of the Coronavirus (Covid-19), many health services have moved to this model of service delivery to ensure clients can still avail of important health services.
What does it mean for my Speech Pathology appointments?
Speech Pathology appointments can work really well via Telehealth. Of course, it can be a big change for therapists and families who are used to physical appointments but with a few considerations and an open mind these sessions can be just as valuable if not more!
Some of the positives of Speech Pathology appointments via Telehealth include the following:
- You and your child can receive therapy services in the comfort of your own home. You don’t have to worry about travelling to the clinic, packing bags and snacks for the kids or ensuring everyone has clean clothes to wear!
- You can use your child’s toys and activities as therapy tools which means that after the appointment you can continue to use these to work on therapy goals (no need to go hunting for the toys your therapist has in the clinic!)
- Technology is used in an interactive way. Rather than your child playing with an iPad or computer game by themselves, we can interact with technology together using fun games and activities to engage your child while working on important therapy goals
- The whole family can get involved. Siblings often don’t get to be part of a child’s therapy journey but when we use Telehealth, siblings who are also at home can join in the fun!
As with any form of therapy, there may be bumps in the road such as technical difficulties or your child losing attention. However, before your initial Telehealth appointment your therapist will give you tips and strategies to help minimise any potential challenges and ensure you get the most out of your Telehealth appointment.
What does a typical Telehealth appointment look like?
Telehealth appointments are similarly structured to face-to-face appointments.
- The Speech Pathologist will typically start by checking in with you and/or your child about any progress and challenges experienced since your previous session.
- The Speech Pathologist will then go through an outline of the appointment such as what activities she has planned and what materials are required.
- If your child can engage with the Speech Pathologist via Telehealth, your therapist will use fun activities and games to motivate your child to work on therapy goals.
- If your child is not at a level where they can engage directly with the Speech Pathologist via the computer, your therapist will coach you to work with your child. This can involve demonstrating activities, problem solving with you and giving you ‘in-the-moment’ strategies and advice to develop your child’s communication skills and work on their goals. Your Speech Pathologist may email you a list of toys/materials to have on hand before the session starts.
- At the end of the appointment, the Speech Pathologist will reflect with you and/or your child on the goals targeted in the session and give specific practice/homework to work on before the next appointment.
What do I need for my Telehealth appointment?
- A computer or tablet with speakers and webcam
- Access to internet
- Headphones (optional)
- A quiet room free from distractions (if possible!)
- A couple of toys or activities that your therapist advises you to have on hand before the appointment.
Are Telehealth services supported
by any funding bodies?
The following funding bodies support Telehealth services:
- Some Health Funds (please contact your fund to determine eligibility)
Still not sure if Telehealth
appointments are for you?
Give us a call on 03 7012 5038 to have a chat and find out more.