Occupational therapy, Speech therapy, Behavioural therapy, Respite therapy, Eco-therapy, Physiotherapy….. we have heard of all those, but Teletherapy? Many have not heard of it nor do they know that this is a valid method of therapy for persons on the autism spectrum.
Prior to the Corona Virus (Covid-19) Pandemic, teletherapy for speech language pathology was not commonly practiced in recent times. However, with the change in a variety of dynamics, including the advent of social-distancing guidelines, teletherapy has become increasingly popular in the last few months. This is true for speech therapy in Vancouver and the majority of other places. Teletherapy has always been around, however we are now seeing a place for its relevance. With that being said, what is teletherapy?
Teletherapy is a digital approach to delivering therapeutic intervention to children and adults alike, who are in need of counselling, coaching, educational direction and tailored interventions for mental health challenges. Teletherapy has also been recently used frequently by behaviourists, speech language therapists, occupational therapists and the list continues.
Continue reading today’s article which will discuss the implications of teletherapy for children diagnosed with autism and their families who need speech/language therapy.
Teletherapy solutions can be offered for challenges such as issues being faced both by high functioning and low functioning children with autism. For high functioning autism, there are programs and activities that can be done by a speech and language pathologist over the internet, via video which can increase and encourage language acquisition skills. For low functioning children with autism, parent coaching is an ideal approach which can be implemented through teletherapy, which can be much more effective in an intervention plan where the therapist was only being seen in person just once a week.
Teletherapy also gives the option for the speech pathologist to use interactive programs and activities to work with children with moderate to severe speech delays in a quest to improve their language skills. There are certain computer programs designed to facilitate the ideal interaction that is needed when engaging through teletherapy which ensure quality treatment is being done.
Parent coaching can also be done through teletherapy. As mentioned previously, for younger children, teletherapy is given more as a guide for parents to cope more than it is for young children to benefit through this method. It should also be said that due to the social communication deficits with those on the autism spectrum, teletherapy may come with unique challenges of its own. These include maintaining a child’s or adolescent’s concentration for an extended period of time, and ensuring co-operation is facilitated.
There are many benefits of teletherapy, which far outweigh any disadvantages. If you are not using the teletherapy method, speak with your therapy provider today and ask if teletherapy is an option which is viable for your child. Chances are it is, and it can make a world of difference in this Covid-19 disruption.