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What Is Online Speech Therapy?

By Renee Malove
Updated May 16, 2024
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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.

If you're looking for other ways to help your special needs child, consider how to get an emotional support animal and see if this solution suits your child.

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Discussion Comments
By anon127378 — On Nov 16, 2010

Okay information but the article doesn't seem balanced. Lends the impression that the online method is suitable for all kinds of speech/language problems and for all patients.

By anon67605 — On Feb 25, 2010

Thank you for helping educate people about the benefits of online speech therapy. Actually, this service delivery model is face to face since the client and speech pathologist see and hear each other in real time, when it is conducted in accordance with ASHA guidelines.

We are proud to provide access to live, interactive professional speech language therapy for all eligible students. --Mary E.

By anon67604 — On Feb 25, 2010

My daughter has speech therapy from online speech therapy and she absolutely loves it!

Thanks for allowing me to share this valuable service.

-Margaret, mother of a child with disabilities

By anon53312 — On Nov 20, 2009

You have stated the benefits on online speech therapy very well. Thank you for helping others see how beneficial these services can be!

Keep up the good work! --Stephanie

By anon35186 — On Jul 03, 2009

Thank you for talking about some of the benefits of on-line therapy. As an advocate for improving access to SLP services via on-line software and skilled on-line therapists, I appreciate that you have shared a positive perspective on this service delivery. As bandwidth continues to evolve, so will service excellence.

All the best to you,

Marnee from www.tinyeye.com

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