With the technical advancements, online speech therapy has become quite popular. When our loved ones are suggested to take speech therapy by their doctors, we often come across the question,
"Is online speech therapy as good as in-person speech therapy?"
In this blog, we will try to cover the pros and cons of both forms of speech therapy.
Before getting into different types, let's just see what speech therapy entails.
Speech therapy aims to help people regain their communication skills. It is provided by specialists known as speech-language pathologists/ speech therapists. It is helpful for all age groups from children to the elderly.
Speech therapy is quite helpful in various conditions like Speech delay, autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, Stuttering, Articulation, and Phonological disorder, Expressive and Receptive disorder, Reading difficulties, Voice disorders, and Improving Handwriting in children.
When you visit a speech therapist they first evaluate the condition and formulate a special plan as per individual needs. The aim of treatment can range from improving the fluency, quality of speech, coordination, and strength of muscles of speech, and enhancing language and cognitive skills.
Speech therapy is also helpful when a person wants to develop self-confidence, improve communication skills, and to better understand others. These skills can be quite helpful in work settings and in school-going children. Hence, speech therapy can be life-changing for some people.
Different types of speech therapy
Two major types of speech therapy are in-person speech therapy and online speech therapy.
In-person speech therapy- As the name suggests, it is one on one therapy performed in person, usually in outpatient settings like clinics, hospitals, and rehab centers.
Online speech therapy- It is usually provided in the comfort of your home. A speech therapist provides therapy via online modes like video conferencing applications like Zoom, Google meet, Skype, etc.
Advantages and limitations of Online Vs In-person speech therapy
In-person speech therapy
Hands-on therapy- It can be quite helpful for those who require more hands-on support, like children or patients with severe or complex conditions. It is also recommended for individuals who are hard of hearing or have visual impairments.
More time commitment- Patients need to schedule appointments, and travel to and fro from the therapist's location.
Usually more expensive with the travel costs added.
Scheduling isn't as flexible- as there are many factors that need to be considered when you have to schedule in-person therapy sessions, like, your travel time, your schedule, the therapist's other appointments, and much more.
Online speech therapy
Your location isn't a limitation anymore- You can be in a remote location, away from the city, but still, get access to a speech therapist. Commuting is not a hassle anymore. Online speech therapy is accessible from any location, all you need is a stable internet connection.
It is cost-effective.
It can be attended from the comfort of your home. Some people feel shy or uncomfortable going to a speech therapist, it might be intimidating for them to discuss their problems with someone in-person. Hence, online speech therapy can be very helpful as you can attend the sessions from the comfort of your home, and you also feel more confident when you are comfortable.
It can also be helpful for immunocompromised individuals as they are very prone to catch infections.
There is a reduced time constraint, as it is easier to schedule the appointments, and you can also attend the sessions from any location be it your office, your home, your safe space, etc. It can be quite easy to fit the call with the therapist into their busy schedule.
You also can get access to various support groups.
There is more involvement of the parents in the online sessions, especially for kids.
Access and understanding of technology- it isn't always as effective if the person doesn't know how to use the technology as the elderly. And if there is no access to the Internet or appropriate technology.
It is not suited for conditions where tactile stimulation needs to be provided to the client or for certain complex communication disorders.
The speech therapist has lesser control over the child's environment during the sessions and it becomes the parent's responsibility. In the case of in-person speech therapy, the therapist has designed the environment to be as stimulating as possible for the child and there are lesser distractions. In online speech therapy, the therapist can control the screen only.
Sounderic provides online speech therapy sessions for children with various communication disorders. We would love to help you. Get in touch with us on WhatsApp at +919644466635 or schedule a consultation with us at https://www.sounderic.com/service-page/speech-language-consultation-for-kids