Speech therapy is an extremely important component in the process of assisting persons in overcoming barriers to communication and improving their overall quality of life. In the present time, the at home speech therapy trends is quite popular which makes it different from the traditional therapy given by the doctor in his clinic.
Historically, speech therapy sessions took place in clinical environments, and patients were required to travel to their scheduled visits from their home or office. But nowdays, thanks to recent developments in technology and the expanding accessibility of telehealth services, speech therapy that may be done in the comfort of one’s own home has arisen as a viable alternative that is both convenient and efficient.
All the latest techniques like Boom Cards, Open Chat GPT AI, Gestures Based Speech System, which has been used by a therapist in their clinic, now all can be used at the patient premise and using the online tools and techniques the patient can even perform better and improve skills to next level.
This article explores the concept of speech therapy that may be performed at home, as well as its benefits and the resources that are available to accompany individuals on their journey through speech therapy. So let’s dive in and have a look at what parents need to know about the speech therapy at home.
What is At Home Speech Therapy?
At home speech therapy, also known as telepractice or teletherapy, is the delivery of speech therapy services through digital platforms. This enables individuals to receive therapy sessions remotely from the comfort of their own homes.
Individuals can engage in real-time conversations with licensed speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who are able to coach them through various exercises and approaches to improve their speech and language abilities when they use secure video conferencing facilities. These resources are available online.
So to get started, you need to look for a therapist online. You have to pay fee online and by using the skype or Zoom call you can start session as per your booked schedule.
Additionally if the therapist in your area, they you may ask to provide the sessions at home. In this case the therapist will physically come to your home and provide the session (this might be bit expensive).
Benefits of At Home Speech Therapy
- Convenience and Accessibility: At-home speech therapy eliminates the need for travel, saving time and effort. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with mobility issues or those residing in remote areas with limited access to specialized services. It allows individuals to schedule therapy sessions at their convenience, fostering a more flexible and personalized approach to treatment.
- Cost-Effective: In-person therapy sessions often incur additional expenses such as transportation costs. But the in-home speech therapy eliminates these expenses, making it a more cost-effective option for many individuals and families. Additionally, some insurance providers cover teletherapy services, further reducing the financial burden.
- Comfortable Learning Environment: Being in a familiar and comfortable environment can positively impact the therapy experience. Individuals may feel more at ease and relaxed, leading to increased engagement and better treatment outcomes.
- Increased Parent Involvement: This form of speech therapy provides an opportunity for parents or caregivers to actively participate in the therapy process. They can observe sessions, gain a better understanding of the techniques used, and reinforce therapy goals during daily activities. This collaborative approach enhances the effectiveness of the therapy and promotes ongoing support at home.
- Continuity of Care: For individuals who require long-term speech therapy, at-home sessions ensure continuity of care, regardless of factors such as relocation or travel limitations. This consistency in therapy delivery promotes progress and prevents interruptions in treatment.
What are the At Home Speech Therapy activities
The activities are designed to help individuals improve their speech and language skills in the comfort of their own homes. These activities are carefully crafted by speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and tailored to meet the specific needs and goals of each individual receiving therapy.
Here are some common activities that may be included in At Home Speech Therapy, so please follow them all one by one to get more control on voice while speaking in front of others!
- Articulation Exercises: These activities are geared toward enhancing the clarity of speech sounds in various ways. Exercises that target certain sounds may be provided by SLPs, and clients may also receive assistance in practicing precise tongue placement and airflow.
- Language Games and Puzzles: SLPs may propose interactive games or puzzles that emphasize vocabulary growth, sentence building, grammar, and comprehension abilities. These games and puzzles may be in the form of word searches or crosswords. These exercises can be interesting and fun, while also contributing to the development of language skills.
- Reading and Storytelling: Reading books aloud or engaging in storytelling activities can enhance language skills, including vocabulary, listening comprehension, and narrative development. SLPs may suggest specific books or provide strategies to enhance understanding and expression during reading activities.
- Conversation Practice: Conversational practice is a vital component for persons striving to improve their social communication abilities. SLPs may provide prompts or role-playing scenarios to assist clients in practicing proper communication skills such as taking turns, maintaining the topic of conversation, and more.
- Phonological Awareness Activities: The ability to recognize and alter individual sounds inside words is what’s meant by the term “phonological awareness.” To help children develop phonological awareness, which is essential for reading and spelling, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) may suggest exercises such as rhyming, segmenting, blending, and manipulating sounds.
- Oral Motor Exercises: These exercises focus on the muscles that are utilized in the production of speech. Exercises for the tongue, mouth, and jaw can be instructed by therapy expert to increase coordination and strength, which in turn can result in improved speech intelligibility.
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Practice: For individuals who use AAC devices or systems, SLPs may incorporate activities to promote effective use and navigation of these communication tools. This may involve practicing vocabulary selection, message formulation, and device operation.
- Parent or Caregiver Involvement: At Home Speech Therapy often includes guidance and involvement from parents or caregivers. SLPs may provide resources, strategies, and training to support consistent practice and reinforcement of speech and language goals between therapy sessions.
It’s important to note that the specific activities in At Home Speech Therapy can vary depending on the individual’s age, diagnosis, and therapeutic goals. SLPs work closely with their clients to develop customized activities that address their unique needs and promote progress in speech and language skills.
Cost of At Home Speech Therapy
The average At Home Speech Therapy cost is around $100 for 1 session but it may vary depending on several factors, including the current location, travel distance, therapy time, frequency of sessions, and the qualifications and experience of the speech-language pathologist (SLP) providing the services.
So based on these factors the cost of At Home Speech Therapy will depend:
- Insurance Coverage: Some health insurance plans may cover a portion or all of the cost of speech therapy, including At Home Speech Therapy. It is advisable to contact your insurance provider to inquire about coverage details, such as the extent of coverage, co-pays, deductibles, and any limitations or requirements.
- Session Rates: It is possible for speech language pathologists to charge varying prices for their services depending on the level of skill, years of experience, and location. Because prices might range quite a bit, it is vital to ask the SLP or treatment provider about the particular rates that they charge for their services.
- Assessment and Evaluation: In some cases, an initial assessment or evaluation may be required to determine the individual’s speech and language needs. There may be separate fees associated with this process, including the time spent by the SLP to evaluate the individual’s abilities and develop a customized therapy plan.
- Duration and Frequency of Sessions: The number and length of therapy sessions can impact the overall cost. Longer sessions or more frequent sessions may result in higher costs. SLPs typically work with individuals to determine the optimal frequency and duration of sessions based on their needs and available resources.
- Additional Resources or Materials: The (SLP) may suggest additional resources or materials, depending on the therapeutic method and the client’s particular goals. Books, workbooks, digital applications, or even specialist equipment could fall within this category. It’s possible that the price of these resources will add up to an additional cost.
It is essential to have honest communication with the speech-language pathologist (SLP) or the provider of the therapy in order to express any issues or limitations about finances. They might be able to provide a range of flexible payment choices, provide recommendations for sources of financial aid, or offer advice on how to make the most of insurance coverage.
Drawbacks of At Home Speech Therapy
There are several reasons why at-home speech therapy may not be the best option for everyone. While it can offer convenience and accessibility in certain situations, there are potential limitations that should be considered. Here are some reasons why at-home speech therapy may not be preferred:
- Lack of specialized guidance: Speech therapy is a specialized field that requires expertise and training. In a traditional therapy setting, a qualified speech-language pathologist (SLP) can provide personalized guidance and monitor progress closely. At-home speech therapy may not offer the same level of expertise and supervision, which can be crucial for effective treatment.
- Limited resources and materials: Speech therapy often involves the use of various resources, such as specialized tools, equipment, and materials. These resources may not be readily available or easily accessible for at-home therapy. A therapy center or clinic is usually equipped with a wide range of resources that can enhance the effectiveness of the treatment.
- Reduced social interaction and peer support: Traditional speech therapy sessions often provide opportunities for social interaction with other individuals facing similar challenges. Group therapy sessions can be beneficial in fostering peer support, communication skills, and a sense of community. At-home therapy might lack this social aspect, which could impact motivation and progress.
- Distractions and lack of focus: Conducting therapy sessions at home can introduce distractions that may hinder progress. Home environments are typically filled with various stimuli, such as family members, pets, and household activities, which can divert attention and disrupt the focus required for effective therapy.
- Difficulty in maintaining consistency: Consistency and regularity are important factors in speech therapy. Maintaining a consistent therapy schedule at home can be challenging due to various factors, such as work commitments, household responsibilities, and potential disruptions. In contrast, therapy centers can provide a structured environment with dedicated time slots, promoting consistency and progress.
- Limited feedback and assessment: In a traditional therapy setting, an SLP can provide immediate feedback, correct errors, and assess progress during each session. At-home speech therapy may lack this immediate feedback loop, which can impede the learning process and hinder accurate progress evaluation.
- Safety concerns: Certain speech therapy techniques require physical manipulation or guidance by an SLP. Without proper supervision, there is a risk of incorrect application, which could lead to potential safety concerns or ineffective outcomes.
While at-home speech therapy can be an option for some individuals in specific situations, it is important to consider these potential limitations. It is advisable to consult with a qualified speech-language pathologist to determine the most suitable approach based on individual needs and circumstances.
What Resources You Can Check for At-Home Speech Therapy
- American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Telepractice Resources: ASHA provides a comprehensive set of resources, including guidelines, data, best practices, research papers, and policy documents related to telepractice in speech-language pathology. [Website: www.asha.org/Practice-Portal/Professional-Issues/Telepractice/]
- Virtual Speech Center: Virtual Speech Center offers a wide range of speech therapy apps and activities designed for at-home use. These resources cover various speech and language disorders cases and can be accessed through computers, tablets, or smartphones. [Website: www.virtualspeechcenter.com/]
- Speech Blubs: Speech Blubs is an interactive speech therapy app specifically designed for children. It uses video modeling and gaming elements to encourage speech and language development. The app offers a library of over 1,500 activities and allows parents to track their child’s progress. [Website: www.speechblubs.com/]
- Presence Learning: Presence Learning is a telepractice platform that connects individuals with qualified SLPs. Their comprehensive services cover assessments, therapy sessions, and progress monitoring. They specialize in serving schools, organizations, districts, and families. [Website: www.presencelearning.com/]
- Lingraphica: Lingraphica offers a range of communication devices, apps, and therapy resources for individuals with aphasia or other communication difficulties. These tools can be used at home under the guidance of an SLP or independently. Their resources include speech-generating devices, communication apps, and online therapy platforms. [Website: www.aphasia.com/]