A speech therapy program does much more than just helping children diagnosed with autism speak properly. The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) states that speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work with people who struggle with “speech, language, thinking, and swallowing” problems. Speech therapists also work with many aspects of cognition, communication, social language, voice disorders, and more.
The success rate of speech therapy varies depending on the condition or disorder being treated. When a person diagnosed with a condition or disorder starts speech therapy can also have an impact on the outcome. Studies show that speech therapy for young children has been most successful when started early and practiced at home with the involvement of a parent or caregiver through telehealth. Searching for a speech therapy program in California? Call Opya at (650) 931-6300 or reach out to our team online.
What’s a Speech Therapy Program?
A speech therapy program involves assessing and treating communication problems and speech disorders. It is performed by SLPs, who are also referred to as speech therapists or speech pathologists. As mentioned earlier, in-home speech therapy is the most effective. However, not all speech therapy programs — whether or not they’re an autism intervention — offer an in-home option. If you prefer this type of program, you must ensure that the healthcare provider you choose offers it.
Speech therapy techniques are used to improve communication. These techniques include articulation therapy, language intervention activities, and others. Techniques used in a speech therapy program will depend on the treatment type or disorder. Apart from communication programs for autism, speech therapy may be needed for speech disorders that develop in childhood or speech impairments caused by an injury or illness.
What Are the Benefits of Telehealth Speech Therapy?
1. Better Therapist Rapport for Parents and Children
When working with a child at home, a speech therapist can develop rapport with them and the rest of their family. The relationships formed are one of the most rewarding aspects of at-home therapy through telehealth.
Typically, a parent or a caregiver observes or participates in at-home speech therapy sessions, allowing the SLP to discuss goals and progress in real-time. A child diagnosed with autism’s SLP demonstrates strategies and ensures that everyone in the household works together to help a child diagnosed with autism achieve their goals.
2. Comfort of a Natural Environment
Studies show that therapy provided in a child’s natural environment is ideal. This may be true for people of all ages, too. A natural environment is where a child spends most of their time. A home through telehealth, for example, is a safe space for a child diagnosed with autism when engaging with new people and activities. A trusted environment can make a child feel more confident, positively influencing their ability to participate successfully in therapeutic care such as a speech therapy program.
Telehealth speech therapy uses functional objects and surroundings to implement treatment. Functional objects and environments refer to everything a child frequently sees and uses throughout their day-to-day routine. When working with a child diagnosed with autism in their home through telehealth, a therapist can use a child’s toys, typical routines, or everyday objects to connect with them during a therapy session. Parents and children can then easily replicate and practice the skills they learned throughout the time between speech therapy sessions.
3. Convenience and Schedule Flexibility
As parents or caregivers often juggle multiple responsibilities on their schedules, not needing to travel to and from a healthcare facility can alleviate stress and make it easier to prioritize speech therapy sessions.
Eliminating all the elements involved in getting a child diagnosed with autism out of the house enables a child to approach therapy with a calm and ready feeling. Telehealth therapy yields fewer cancellations, allowing for consistency of treatment and, therefore, a more successful therapy experience.
When Should You Consider a Telehealth Speech Therapy Program?
Now that you know the benefits of telehealth speech therapy, you may be more inclined to switch to this type of speech therapy program — if your child diagnosed with autism isn’t already on one.
A speech therapy program, if recommended for your child diagnosed with autism by a certified pediatric SLP, is always worth it. The evaluation to assess whether or not your child needs speech therapy includes a subjective and objective assessment of your child’s skills. If speech therapy is recommended, your child’s SLP has verified the presence of a cognitive, communication, or swallowing disorder. In a case like this, a speech therapy program is medically necessary to identify, evaluate, and treat speech-language, swallowing, and cognitive-communication disorders.
If your family has a busy schedule or your child diagnosed with autism finds it difficult to be outside your home, telehealth speech therapy sessions may be best for your case.
Ready To Learn More About Opya’s Telehealth Speech Therapy Program?
If you’re looking for a speech therapy program in California, call Opya at (650) 931-6300 today. You can also reach out to our team online.