What is tele-practice?

Due to the current situation (COVID-19), tele-practice has gradually gained popularity and taken over the traditional therapy method (face-to-face therapy).

Tele-practice is the application of using telecommunicating technology to deliver speech therapy services at a distance. This method links the speech therapist to the client for assessment, intervention and consultation. Tele-practice is also referred to as tele-audiology, tele-speech and even speech-teletherapy.

During this current situation, the usage of tele-practice is unavoidable. However, as with everything else, there are pros and cons to using tele-practice.

The pros:

– To be able to have therapy in the comforts of your own home will allow the child to be more comfortable due to their familiar surroundings and therefore, generate lesser stress and anxiety in them.
– Without having to take into account travelling time and unexpected situations such as traffic jams or heavy rain, the timing of the sessions can be more flexible.
– Parents are able to observe what is happening during the therapy session and learn the the methods/techniques that are being taught by the therapist and replicate them.

The cons:

– No face-to-face interaction with the child and therapist. Face-to-face contact ensures that the child stays on track and is paying attention. Through the video screen, it is often hard to determine if the child is paying attention or not.
– Tele-practice is not a suitable option for every child. For example, children who are just beginning their speech therapy lessons as they have not built a rapport with the therapist yet. Another example are children who are below the age of 3. They are too young to be able to sit through the tele-practice without something concrete to interact with.

No doubt tele-practice is extremely convenient and more flexible in terms of timing, if your child is unsuitable for this manner of therapy, it will only do your child more harm than good. Consult with your speech therapist before deciding on the manner of intervention in order to find out what’s the best method of intervention for the benefit of your child.

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