Speech impediments are quite common among adults and children. It can be an embarrassing experience for an individual. However, with speech therapy, patients can get their voices back.
In India, roughly 50 million people need speech therapy but only 20 million are getting the services. The reason for this is
- A lack of trained professionals
- No speech therapy centres or professionals in small towns in India.
During the pandemic, speech therapy sessions moved online. Parents and therapists were pleasantly surprised with the effectiveness of these sessions. With teletherapy, individuals in remote and rural, and linguistically diverse populations got access to speech therapy services.
Speech therapy services are more important today than ever. There is increased awareness about speech therapy among parents, doctors, and individuals. In India, online speech therapy is a boon for people who do not have access to trained speech-language pathologists in their vicinity. It is giving patients the confidence to speak up. There are advantages to the telehealth approach that in-person treatment doesn’t provide. Speech-Language Pathologists connect to clients with web cameras, headsets, high-speed internet, and an online speech therapy software or Zoom/Google Meet.
By improving their speaking skills children can speak confidently in school, which can lead to eloquent adults and employees in the future.
Online speech therapy sessions have many benefits. These include:
Virtual speech therapy sessions are convenient for both families and speech therapists. There is no time spent on traveling to the clinic, more flexible hours for sessions, and accessibility for those living in rural areas.
A lot of evidence shows that online speech therapy is just as effective as in-person sessions in helping children and adults reach their speech and language goals.
Increased Parent Involvement
With online speech therapy, parents have become active participants in sessions. Earlier they used to drop their kids off for speech sessions. Now since therapy has moved to the child’s home, the whole family participates in the sessions. Involving parents in the sessions has made a tremendous change because parents know their child the best, they spend the most amount of time interacting with the child and the child learns to communicate through daily activities, not just in speech class.
Not only does technology make speech therapy more engaging, but it also makes it more effective by encouraging children to keep practicing when they get home.
Today’s children are growing up in technology-rich environments and navigating apps and games has become very easy for them. Children are more engaged, attentive, and willing to participate in online speech therapy sessions. Digital apps are helping speech-language pathologists reach their goals and as reinforcement for children. A stroke patient can practice pronunciation and vocabulary with the help of apps designed for them. The apps help patients with apraxia practice mouth shapes by watching videos.
Ease of Use
Whiteboards, screen sharing, and virtual backgrounds have made the speech sessions engaging for children. Speech-language pathologists have full control over what happens on screen. The online sessions allow therapists to design sessions based on the child’s interests.
A child learns communication by listening and interacting with the people around him. At Sounderic we match each patient to the most qualified therapist with expertise in that specific diagnosis.
Public speaking skills and communication at work have become so important. Many employees are coming forward to take coaching for business communication skills.
While technology is definitely transforming speech-language pathology, it can never replace a therapist. Patients get real-time feedback from a speech-language pathologist on areas to improve, strategies, and tips to correct themselves and the best-suited treatment plan for their disorder. Also, regular practice, motivation, and patience are required by any individual looking to see improvement in their speech.