Teletherapy: Effective? Or just killing time until face-to-face therapy?
I have received many calls from parents over the past few months inquiring about speech therapy for their young children. Therapy in the time of COVID, however, meant that my practice was going completely remote. When I expressed this to parents, I could hear the hesitation in their voice: “Does it work?” “Maybe we’ll wait until you can come in person.” “Let’s touch base in a few months” are among the many responses I heard. Parents were (and are) concerned, and not without reason! The research on teletherapy until recently has been quite slim. I encouraged (and continue to encourage) parents to start therapy, regardless of the fact that it was on the computer. I’d hoped to reassure them that therapy can be just as effective online as it is in person. After all, therapy is only as good as the techniques and carryover strategies.
I’m very pleased to share that new research has come out reporting “evidence for the usage of tele-therapy, which could be as effective as traditional face-to-face therapy.” Researchers found that the coaching model used in teletherapy empowers parents to learn and effectively use strategies with their child both in and out of therapy sessions. This research has been released in a time when the return of face-to-face therapy is uncertain, transfer of COVID is uncertain, and quite frankly, the world is uncertain. Now, we can be certain that teletherapy is effective.
With this new research in mind, don’t wait to get your child enrolled in speech therapy! Set your child up for success now. Allow them to start improving their communication and continue to grow.
To read more FAQ about teletherapy, please read Hershey SLP’s informative article in Greenwich Moms.
Tala J. Hershey, Owner and SLP
 Hao, Y., Franco, J.H., Sundarrajan, M., & Chen, Y. (2020). A pilot study comparing tele-therapy and in-person therapy: Perspectives from parent-mediated intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-020-04439-x