Telehealth Speech Therapy Frequently Asked Questions Answered
Frequently Asked Questions – Telehealth / Virtual Sessions at SpeechNet Speech Pathology
See our Parent guide to setting up for telehealth Speech Pathology and our zoom and other technology for Telehealth blogs to see the easy steps to set up for your child’s telehealth assessment or therapy session.
Who can use telehealth?
Any families with children 0-18 years with any feeding, communication and literacy issues! Virtual speech therapy is more than “making a child sit in front of the computer” so we can adapt it for YOUR child. If you have a phone, we can support you and your children virtually! Our preferred platform is Zoom on a laptop, phone or iPad, but we can also accommodate Facetime or Skype sessions. This will be discussed during your session set up – you don’t need any special technologies at your end!
Can telehealth be as good as face to face?
In short, yes! Research has shown telehealth can produce as reliable assessment and therapy outcomes as face to face. Your Speech Pathologist will set goals and tailor sessions to you and your child, and we are committed as a team to providing great continuity in service in terms of standard of care and achieving your child’s speech and language and/or eating and drinking goals.
How much internet data will I use?
A video consultation generally uses less than half of the data you would use while watching a YouTube video in High Definition. Lower-speed internet connections and less powerful computers will use less data but can also reduce the security and overall quality of the call.
I’m trying to limit the technological exposure on my kids, I’m worried about adding more screen time, is this safe?
Our virtual speech therapy sessions are interactive! The sessions are tailored to your child’s goals and hence the use of screens is contained as a therapy tool; and so are not detrimental to their development. Research shows that if an adult interacts with a child as they are using a screen learning takes off like a rocket. We have an adult at the other end of all of our virtual sessions for this reason – interactions with “humans” is the key and the screens are just a tools. There are also many different ways to use telehealth to meet your child’s goals without increasing screen exposure. For example, often we get the child playing with toys and we watch them play giving you as the carer “parent coaching” to achieve their speech goals. We may ask you to video yourself doing a session with your child, a mealtime, or of them talking. We can then analyse and discuss a home program or model therapy activities for you.
Are telehealth services paid for by private insurance, NDIS and/or Medicare?
At this time, you can claim telehealth services from your NIDIS plans. Most private health funds support telehealth (you may need to double check). Medicare is not yet available, but this may change in the current climate so please ask us when you book.
For NDIS plan managed and portal clients we will arrange for you to sign/authorize the sessions during your first session.
If you have any concerns about meeting costs of your sessions, please discuss with your therapist as we are committed to finding solutions to allow families to access services during challenging times.
How does this work for feeding/eating and drinking sessions?
Both of our paediatric feeding specialists at SpeechNet are trained and experienced in the delivery of feeding assessments and management via telehealth. We are confident we can achieve the same level, and safety of service and are happy to discuss the evidence and techniques we use to do this in your first session. We will continue to provide high level speech pathology and lactation consultant services via telehealth. We can provide a mixture of telehealth and/or face-to-face services if you are local, once it is safe to resume face to face sessions.
My child is SO active I can’t see telehealth working.
Take look at our answer for question number 4 and our blog “how telehealth works”. These blogs will explain that telehealth or virtual speech therapy is SO much more than a child sitting at a computer. We develop approaches and packages to meet your child’s needs so that learning goals are met effectively.
I am trying to be the Mum, and sometimes I feel like I’m the teacher and so now do I have to be the Speech Pathologist as well?
NO.... this is NOT what telehealth or virtual Speech Therapy means! When we work with families whether it is face to face or in a telehealth method, the role of parents and carers is vital. We love seeing families build skills so they can help their child in their everyday interactions - every time you provide a meal, play, or read a book we believe it is the perfect opportunity for YOU, as the parent or carer, to meet your child's speech therapy goals! When we provide therapy virtually the goals are the same, it is just delivered slightly different. For low functioning or really active children, coaching you as parents in everyday is still what we do for you. We will suggest what to say over the internet, provide the talking while you play with your child or we get you to take video samples of their play or talking or send in copies of their homework.
What is the cost of the telehealth sessions?
The cost are the same rates as face to face and hence are based on time taken for the session and development of any resources for your child.
How long will the sessions run for?
Sessions are generally booked for an hour. This doesn’t mean the child is sitting in front of the computer for an hour. Providing support, goal summaries and discussion about the activities that will be conducted between session will be included in this time as well as any specific administrative tasks associated. For some session they are broken into 2 half hour sessions e.g. we watch a child have a meal, then stop the session, then resume once you have cleared away and the baby or child settled again.
How will this work for my Early Intervention Services
All early intervention services (EI) is about not only working with the child but building the parent and carers’ capacity to carry out games or interactions in specific ways to boost early development. This has been shown in the research to be achieved very successfully via virtual or telehealth speech pathology services.
Take a look for more specific information depending on the concerns for your child’s speech therapy development. Whatever services we have discussed in our Website we can provide in a telehealth or virtual session process. Give us a call to ask or book a session to see how it would work for you
Telehealth related Information
PHONE: 07 3349 9234
Brisbane SpeechNet is open Monday - Saturday
62 Nursery Road, Holland Park West QLD 4124 Australia
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