Telehealth Speech Therapy A Parent Guide for Speech Therapy at Home


Parent’s guide to getting ready for a SpeechNet Speech Pathology Synchronous (live video link up) Telehealth or Virtual Session

What devices can I use for Telehealth Speech Pathology with SpeechNet?

Flexibility is the name of the game! SpeechNet telehealth or virtual speech pathology services can use a variety of devices and Apps. What ever you have access to from Zoom or Skype to voice over the PHONE!. We prefer Zoom as it is available on both computers and mobile devices. Check out our How to Zoom Guide for info but basically you can just put in a URL address that we send you into a browser and it will connect to us! How easy is that!

You can download the desktop app for both Windows and MacOS computers which allows a few more features To access the mobile app you will have to download for cloud meetings for mobile and is available on both Android and iOS devices.

You will need

  • A computer, laptop, iPad or just a digit phone (iPhone or android)
  • Internet connection
  • A built-in camera or external web cam
  • Good audio on most devices is sufficient but you can use an external microphone
  • Speakers in most devices are sufficient but you may prefer to have a headset with a microphone available in case there is unforeseen background noise 

Parent strategies for setting up Setting up the Environment for telehealth Speech Pathology

  • Choosing a quiet environment for the session to be held
  • Minimizing distractions for the student during the therapy session (e.g., No TV in background)
  • Printing or preparing resources for the session that were emailed by the therapist and having them within ARMS reach
  • Have a pen and paper handy for taking notes during the session so you can keep things going through the week
  • Children have “off days” whether they come into clinic or when participating in virtual sessions. You role is to let the therapist know if the child is having an ‘off day’ (e.g., tired, close to meal time, not feeling 100%) so the session games can be changed to take in energy levels
  • Ensure there is good lighting so the therapist can see you and your child – e.g., too dark a room or a bright light behind your backs will reduce the therapists ability to see you
  • Check the camera position and angle so that you can establish eye to eye gaze between the participants
  • Play with the how you can manipulate the camera angle, for example to achieve closeups of pictures, toys or faces.
  • Check the viewing window regularly to ensure you or your child in the view width of the camera
  • Avoid reflective clothing
  • Turn off mobile ringing/ notifications on devices for the duration of the sessions
  • Use the mute button if you or your child is not talking and there are unexpected people talking or noises in the room.
  • If you have other children, encourage them to be set up with another carer or an engaging activity for the periods of the session. If this is not possible, we can adapt the virtual services we provide to “MAKE IT WORK for all children and families.

What’s my role as the parent or carer in telehealth Speech Therapy? Do I have to be the therapist? How am I suppose to keep my child at the computer for telehealth Speech Pathology

NO you are not the therapist. It is hard enough helping with homework sometimes right! In all our speech therapy session and plans a key goal is to build you as the parent or the carer to have the skills to do what we do in your everyday interactions. The research shows that this partnership produces the best results. With telehealth the way we teach or show you is a bit different but the goals are the same.. You need to stay with your child and the level of input can vary depending on the child’s age and condition. For most children your role is to help the therapist by:

  • Keeping the child on task. For example, use an excited voice saying ‘look” & pointing to the resource or therapist on screen to keep attention
  • Following the therapists lead – even if it means giving something new a go
  • Reminding the child to speak loudly and clearly to optimize audio quality
  • Particularly shy or withdrawn children may respond better to a familiar person asking them questions, so parents or carers may be asked to help with the student with heaps of direction and support from the therapists
  • Ask for clarification If it is unclear what the therapist would like the parent or teacher to do during the session
  • Checking with the therapist when you are able to help the student with an activity. Usually, extra help is allowed for therapy tasks but not for assessment activities.

How should I prepare for the telehealth or virtual speech pathology services with SpeechNet.

Before the telehealth session you will receive an email or a call from your clinician giving you instructions on how to prepare and what you will need to have within arms reach during the session. This will vary depending on your child’s goals. Prior to commencing telehealth or virtual speech pathology services, your clinician will be in contact with you to determine the best way to share resources. This can be in the form of emailed pdf resources to be printed or referred to on the computer during the session. We may ask you to grab some common toys, foods, books or other equipment you have available at your home. But don’t worry! Your clinician will be in contact with you to determine the best method for you and your family.

It is a good idea to check that you're connected to the fastest connection available prior to the session. Other ways you may consider preparing for your session include: Setting yourself up in the quietest area possible with minimal distractions.


I don’t have the toys you use in clinic?

That’s okay! Your clinician will be in contact with you before the commencing telehealth services to determine the best way to deliver services and what you have available at home. This could include, whether you print our resources or craft materials or collect books, toys or equipment you have available. Work together with your therapist to sort out the best way to accommodate you for home-based sessions. See what does telehealth options look like.

I don’t have a printer – screen share PDF files

We understand that not all families will have the same options available. That’s why we have alternative ways to share resources with you, if you don’t have a printer available. Did you know that Zoom has an interactive option to share our computer screens so that we can both use PDFs on our computers during the session! We are even able to annotate, draw, or write on these resources during the session.  See our How to use Zoom /telehealth guide.

PHONE: 07 3349 9234


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Brisbane SpeechNet is open Monday - Saturday


62 Nursery Road, Holland Park West QLD 4124 Australia 

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