Online Speech Therapy technique has been gaining more attention in the recent times. If you are wondering what it is all about, do not miss today’s interview with Pratiksha Gupta who is a seasoned Speech Language Therapist cum Audiologist practicing since 2007. She is the founder, director of 1SpecialPlace, India’s first Online Speech Therapy Portal (www.1specialplace.com). Pratiksha is on the panel of professional online parenting portals and is the author of a series of children’s storybooks that promote speech development.
Find out more about Online Speech Therapy and how it can be beneficial for your child.
Online speech therapy is still relatively new to the speech therapy scene. Can you tell a bit about some of the benefits of it?
Online Speech Therapy or Telepractice as it’s formally known has been around for more than 20 years! Though in India it’s a recent concept, it’s a popular method in countries like USA, UK, Canada and Australia. Online Speech therapy has the power to reach remote areas and localities where traditional speech therapy services are unavailable. With the advent of high speed internet and laptops/tablets/smart phones, affected children and adults can access professional services from the convenience of their homes.
Online Speech Therapy is simple, convenient and highly effective at the same time. I founded 1SpecialPlace India’s first Online Speech Therapy portal and we are helping Indian mothers all across the globe. We are even able to reach to that multiple disabled children who is home bound and needs Speech language remediation.
Can u tell us about a typical speech therapy session for a child with speech delay.
We always begin our Online Speech therapy program by doing a baseline evaluation session. After which we lay down a plan for the month. Each therapy session is 45 minutes which includes various activities to achieve the goals. For children with a pure Speech delay we would like to focus on improving the child’s receptive and expressive language skills, listening skills, compliance & attention along with enhancing his overall communication and connection with parents. We use a variety of digital and hands on activities which are all custom made for the child. Home work and counseling the mother are also provided to ensure better follow up and carry over on days when therapy is not held.
1SpecialPlace has also developed a research based mobile app called Speech Doctor which parents can download on their phones to check if their child has a speech delay. We have 2 more apps that are useful for teaching simple early words to children – Early Word Deck 1&
How do you keep the child engaged in the session when the speech therapist isn’t physically in the room?
A Speech therapist needs to see and hear a child during speech therapy, and this is completely possible through online speech therapy which is a video based interactive way of service delivery. We at 1SpecialPlace provide Online speech therapy through an interactive software which has inbuilt features to engage children via digital material which is customized for each child’s speech therapy needs and goals.
We also employ hands on activities in our online sessions with the help and support of the parent at the other end. It’s a very effective, evidence based protocol that we follow in our online sessions with children. Our children look forward to attending their highly interactive online sessions and even parents are able to sit in the session with their kids to learn how to generalize activities at home.
How can a parent benefit from your online platform?
Parents will find 1SpecialPlace’s Online Speech Therapy very convenient and effective at the same time. We have a global team with the best of professionals across the world.
Since online services can be accessed from home, a parent can save time, cost and hassle of travel to the therapy centre. Speech therapy usually involves regular sessions once or twice a week. In big cities the traffic situation is getting worse and taking kids for continued therapy every now and then is difficult. With 1SpecialPlace you can get the best of professional help sitting at home. Most mothers who are taking our services are very happy that they can access these sessions with no help from their husbands who otherwise drive the kids around to the therapy centres. Our sessions can even be recorded if asked by a parent who can view the recording later to see the child’s progress during the session.
How is an online therapy session beneficial than a conventional therapy?
There are many advantages of Online Speech Therapy over conventional therapy.
- Online Speech Therapy saves time and cost of travel
- It promises better continued therapy overcoming situations like bad weather, traffic jams, unwell parents etc.
- It can be accessed even if you’re traveling to another city
- It can be accessed from home/office/school
- You can sit with your child to monitor his progress in the online sessions. Many a times in conventional Speech therapy centre’s parents are not ‘allowed’ inside the sessions and online therapy breaks those norms.
- Research shows that with online sessions even mothers learn a lot and are able to use the tips and ideas in day to day communication with the child. Hence carryover of therapy is significantly better.
- Since the child is in his/her functional environment, online speech therapy is done in a natural way and the rapport between the child and the therapist is great.
- Online sessions can be recorded and viewed by a parent later.
- At 1SpecialPlace we even have group online sessions with multiple professionals where a child gets to improve social skills in a structured environment
- Online Speech Therapy is preferred even by adults seeking help as they find it flexible and effective at the same time
We would like to thank Pratiksha for sharing her expertise on Online Speech Therapy!