Busting Speech Teletherapy Myths

March 9, 2022By: Naomi Griffin

People often associate speech therapy with being done in a therapy room, but that is a myth. Therapists not only can practice in person but also remotely through teletherapy. Teletherapy is quickly becoming the new face of education. With innovative technology, therapists can help children reach their fullest potential from anywhere. 

To clarify some of the misconceptions about teletherapy, here are some of the biggest speech teletherapy myths debunked: 

Myth: A telepractitioner can practice from anywhere around the world.

No, you need to be licensed where you sit and where the student is. Similar to the US, many countries have rules and regulations that govern speech and language services. Also, all countries, require a work visa for foreign workers to be permitted to work. 

Myth: Telepractice is meant to only be used during an emergency situation (ex: pandemic).

No, telepractice is an established service delivery model that is recognized by national organizations like ASHA, NASP, and AOTA

Myth: You can only serve neurotypical students via telepractice 

No, just like any service delivery model there are considerations to take, but you may serve a variety of students via telepractice successfully.

Myth: Online speech therapy is inferior to face-to-face therapy 

No evidence exists to support this myth. For some people, online speech therapy may not be simply more convenient, but it may be more beneficial for everyone involved. Online speech therapy takes into consideration some of the barriers that face-to-face speech therapy entails, such as mobility and distance. Those who utilize online speech therapy can tap into more scheduling options, and it ensures consistent service delivery.

Myth: Speech therapy is only about talking

Probably one of the most common and misunderstood myths is the notion that speech therapy only focuses on talking. Perhaps it’s because when we see the word speech, we think of spoken words, while speech therapy encompasses not just talking, but how patients communicate. As we know, communication can be verbal or non-verbal. For many patients, speech therapy includes tools to help them communicate. However, speech therapy includes language comprehension and dysphagia, more commonly known as swallowing disorder.

Myth: Only high school kids can be seen for telepractice services

Speech-Language Pathologists treat everyone from the very young to the very old. Many elderly patients who are in the throes of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease struggle with communication functions. Those who have had a traumatic brain injury may sometimes be left with cognitive problems or trouble communicating effectively in order to live on their own or express their feelings and needs.

Myth: Children grow out of language delays 

It is true that some children do grow out of language delays, but the fact remains that it doesn’t happen for every child. Those children who do grow out of language delays and seem to catch up to their peers may still have problems when it comes to reading and writing later on. If you suspect your child may have a language delay, you might consider a wait and see attitude, but it’s almost always better to have your child screened sooner than later.

Myths: You can’t screen for communication problems until your child is in school 

Fortunately, speech therapy is based on a child’s needs, not a child’s age, so those children who have needs later can benefit from the services speech therapy offers. There are a number of factors that determine when screening for speech issues can be done, but none have to do with the age of a child. One variable is where the child currently functions in terms of language, cognitive, or speech development. This means that some children may be eligible for therapy before starting school, while other children may not have a need for therapy until they are a tween or teen. If you have additional questions about how teletherapy works, reach out to our team here. We would be happy to help answer any questions!

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