Speech pathologists play a huge role in the educational and medical field, helping children and adults overcome their speech impediments and disfluencies. It is not always practical or possible for an individual to see a speech pathologist face to face, however. That's why online speech therapy offers the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive speech therapy program over the Internet.
In a classroom setting, patients would work with a speech pathologist face-to-face, participating in a number of speech therapy activities designed to help them overcome their language difficulties. Speech therapy techniques often involve the repetition of words with focus on particular sounds, and the shape and movement of the mouth and tongue. In the case of disfluencies such as stuttering, with whole or partial word repetition, a speech therapy program would work with the student to master breathing and pronunciation.
Extensive speech therapy takes time, however, and the cost can be high without assistance from insurance or a public health agency. This is where online speech therapy comes into play. Through new and creative technologies, patients have the opportunity to practice the same speech therapy techniques and activities they would use when working face to face with a speech pathologist from the comfort of their home on a flexible schedule.
There are many types of online speech therapy programs. Some therapists prefer to continue to work with their patients face-to-face, using video conferencing or a similar system. Others ask their adult and child speech therapy patients to practice at home using resources they have made available online in between sessions. This mixed therapy is especially popular among children, who often forget to take the techniques they've learned in the classroom out into the "real world," and may benefit greatly from interactive activities they can use at home.
Online speech therapy also offers a degree of anonymity to adults who may be too self-conscious to seek help for their speech disorders from a professional. By using the resources provided through a virtual speech therapy program, they can overcome speech difficulties that may have plagued them for a lifetime on their own time and at their own pace. When working in anonymity, these adults are also able to relax and focus on their speech, without any of the nerves that can show up in a clinical setting and make speech difficulties worse.
Online speech therapy programs are often less expensive than working one-on-one with a speech pathologist full time. Many parents of special needs children use online programs to supplement their child's existing therapy programs. The additional opportunity to practice vital skills from home without having to bring in an independent therapist can be an invaluable opportunity to aid their development.