ASHA’s Position on SLPs and Teletherapy
Telepractice is an appropriate model of service delivery for audiologists and SLPs. SLPs providing services via telepractice are bound to the Code of Ethics and must perform duties in adherence to their Scope of Practice.
What types of therapy can be provided via telepractice?
- Speech sound disorders
- Fluency disorders
- Language disorders
- Cognitive disorders
- Neurodevelopmental disorders
- Voice disorders
Is telepractive appropriate for all clients?
No! Each client should be assessed individually for appropriateness for telepractice treatment. Some considerations to keep in mind:
- Hearing and visual acuity
- Physical dexterity to use a computer, mouse, and keyboard
- Endurance to sitting in front of the computer
- Level of cognitive function, including attention
- Family/caregiver/aid support during sessions, as necessary
- Appropriate comprehension, literacy, and intelligibility as needed for appropriate treatment
- Interpreter availability, as needed
- Availability and access to technology, internet access, and a quiet environment for treatment
Can telepractice be as effective as in-person therapy?
It seems likely, but research to-date has been a bit limited and mixed. Most research reports promising or favorable results with the need for more in-depth analysis.
What does the research specifically say?
- “there may be a range of benefits in using telehealth with individuals with ASD, their families, and teachers”
- “There is preliminary evidence that parent-mediated intervention training delivered remotely may improve parent knowledge, increase parent intervention fidelity, and improve the social behavior and communication skills for children with ASD.”
- “Results suggests telepractice is a promising service delivery approach in the treatment of individuals with ASD that warrants additional research.”
- “Live-stream, video telepractice appears to be a promising service- delivery method for treatment of stuttering using the Camperdown Program, Lidcombe Program, and integrated approaches. Further research is needed to determine if the initial evaluation and diagnosis of stuttering can be made using telepractice methodologies.“
Speech & Language Services (as a whole)
- “Most of studies concluded that the telehealth procedure had advantages over the non-telehealth alternative approach (85.5%); however, 13.6% reported that it was unclear whether the telehealth procedure had advantages. Some barriers still need to be overcome…”
School-age Therapy Services
- “Although telepractice appears to be a promising platform for delivering speech and language services to school-age children, there is not yet sufficient evidence to confirm that outcomes resulting from treatment provided via telepractice are equivalent to those resulting from on-site treatment.”
- “Although there is limited evidence to support the validity and reliability of speech and language assessment via telehealth, it is probably not yet sufficient to influence clinical practice or policy development.”
- “Results revealed both telehealth and in-person participants made significant and similar improvements when treatment effects were measured through five of the six outcome measures. Findings showed there is limited but promising evidence to support telehealth for delivering speech-language pathology intervention services to school-age children. “
All articles available in full from ASHA’s Evidence Maps.
What do I need to practice teletherapy?
- A laptop or desktop computer
- A web cam (built in or separate)
- A headset (optional, but recommended)
- A license for the state of each student you serve
- A quiet environment
- A HIPPA or FERPA compliant platform for conducting therapy
- A digital organization system for student files and materials (as well as invoicing, billing, payment tracking, etc.. if necessary)
What are some key considerations I should keep in mind?
- Set expectations for the student/family/teacher before beginning your first session
- Teach the student/family/teacher how to use the platform, provide examples of how a session will go, discuss how families/teachers can be involved in sessions
- Keep a well-organized calendar of treatment sessions with alerts for each session
- Provide reminders for parents/teachers of scheduled session times
- Create a secure folder for each student with materials, session notes, documents, billing, etc…
- Keep excellent notes regarding beginning and ending times of sessions, tardies, no-shows, parent/teacher contacts, etc…
- Document all sessions, including therapy data, immediately
- Set boundaries for parent/teacher involvement, background noise/disruptions, etc…
- Stay up-to-date with HIPPA and FERPA compliance when storing student files, sending documents via email, choosing platforms, etc… Use unique password protection and/or utilize companies with compliant safeguards for digital storage/document transmission.
- Establish guidelines for what to do about cancellations, rescheduling, technology issues, etc… Be prepared to contact parents when technology issues occur and walk them through troubleshooting, reschedule sessions, or provide alternative means to a session (such as a phone call and provision of materials for at-home practice).
Built-in activities and whiteboard
Upload and organize your own materials
Watch videos with client
$60/month for all features and 1 clinician
Screenshare and remote mouse control
$50/month for all features and 1 clinician
$91/month for up to 80 clients (smaller packages also available)
50% off for educational organizations
Easy collaboration tools
Starts at $200/month
Easy collaboration tools
Starts at $12/month
EdShed for Interactive Videos
Sequencing Boom Cards by Allison Fors
Basic Concepts Boom Cards by Ashley Rossi
WH Questions Boom Cards by Ashley Rossi
Pronouns Boom Cards by Ashley Rossi
Verbs Boom Cards by Ashley Rossi
Categories Boom Cards by Ashley Rossi
Comparatives/Superlatives Boom Cards by Ashley Rossi
Irregular Plurals Boom Cards by Ashley Rossi
No Print Language Processing by The Whimsical World
Language Processing Boom Cards by The Whimsical World
Listening Skills (and other ELA skills) Videos by Geek Chic
EverydaySpeech for Social Skills Videos
Feelings/Emotions Boom Cards by Ashley Rossi
Social Filter Game by Bright Futures Counseling
Social Skills Boom Cards by Bright Futures Counseling
Showing Empathy in Text Messages by Misty’s Speech World
Growth Mindset, Life Skills, and Social Skills Videos by Geek Chic
Emotions and Feelings Boom Cards by Geek Chic
Growth Mindset Boom Cards by Geek Chic
Critical Thinking Videos by Geek Chic