Friday, June 12, 2020

Speech And Language Therapy Is Going Online--What Moms Need To Know

     Today on the blog my guest is Leanne Sherred, President and Founder of Expressable, an online speech therapy company. If you have a child in your family who has speech or language difficulties, Expressable is an affordable and convenient way to get online help from speech language pathologists. The timing for this online learning program is perfect during the COVID-19 pandemic when everyone is staying home. Please read all about the multiple benefits of the program and check out Leanne's site below.




Speech and Language Therapy is Going Online - What Moms Need to Know

Chances are, many Menopausal Mom readers have a kiddo with speech or language difficulties. Maybe they have a stutter. Maybe they’re not able to pronounce sounds, words, or phrases correctly for their age. Or perhaps they have challenges with literacy or language comprehension. 

These issues are fairly common and, in fact, affect millions of children and adults every year. 

Obviously, you want the very best for your child. Every child deserves to find their voice. Plus, having strong speech and language skills is essential for a child’s academic, social, and emotional development. That’s why it’s often recommended they see a speech language pathologist, the most qualified professionals to evaluate, diagnose, and treat these issues. 

But what about online speech therapy? Maybe you haven’t given it much of a thought. But we do everything online these days - from shopping, to travel bookings, to reading this blog - so why not speech therapy? 

Online speech therapy was already exploding in popularity - and that was before COVID-19. Suddenly, with schools and clinics closed, tons of families turned to teletherapy to continue these vital services. Even as the country reopens and we all begin to return to normal life, there’s a reason many families aren’t looking back. From affordability to convenience, teletherapy has so many advantages.  

What is Online Speech Therapy? 

Teletherapy is just like traditional speech therapy, but speech language pathologists deliver services online via modern video conferencing. We all became pretty proficient at Zoom and FaceTime during the quarantine. This is really no different, except on the other end of the line is a qualified professional. 

Is Online Speech Therapy Effective? 

Receiving speech therapy services online is a pretty new and unfamiliar delivery method for many families. And understandably, it can raise many important questions. Is it effective? Will my child receive the same level of care and attention? What does the research say? 

Fortunately, there’s a lot of research available. Two of the prominent studies were conducted by Kent State University and the Ohio Department of Public Health. Each compared children receiving online speech therapy to children receiving in-person therapy. Each child was evaluated before they started therapy and after, to see how much improvement was made. 

The results were clear: children in both groups made significant progress towards their speech and language goals, with no difference between delivery methods. In short, online speech therapy was put to the test - and it passed with flying colors. 

Benefits of Online Speech Therapy:

There’s a reason more families are turning to online speech therapy every day - either to help their children or to receive services themselves. I’ve outlined a few of these advantages below:

  • Affordability: Speech therapy coverage is routinely denied as a covered benefit by many insurance companies. What’s worse, paying out-of-pocket can be extremely expensive. By taking services online, many of the traditional costs of running a practice don’t apply (think rent, overhead, administration). These cost savings get passed down to families, making therapy considerably more affordable.
  • Convenience: Who wants to deal with long commute times? With the click of a button, you can access face-to-face speech therapy services from the comfort of your home. Additionally, people often learn in an environment they’re most comfortable with.
  • Flexibility: Parents are living busy and hectic lives, and fitting speech therapy into a 9-5 schedule often isn’t possible. With online speech therapy, you have the added flexibility of attending sessions that fit best for your family - whether that’s on the weekends after baseball practice or Wednesday night after dinner.
  • Parent-Therapist Relationships: Studies show that parents and caretakers play a huge role in improving their child’s speech and language development. Just like learning any other skill, it requires practice at home. With online speech therapy, many parents sit side-by-side with their child and attend their sessions together.. This means parents can learn tips and strategies for reinforcing best practices at home. 


About Leanne Sherred, M.S. CCC-SLP:
Leanne calls Austin, Texas home but studied Speech and Hearing Sciences at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and gained her Master's in Speech-language pathology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She has worked in pediatric outpatient clinics, schools, early intervention, and home health. Leanne is currently the President and Founder of Expressable, an online speech therapy company that envisions a modern and affordable way for anyone who needs speech therapy to access these vital services. 

8 comments:

  1. Wow, so interesting! My daughter is getting her masters in SLP right now. She is more interested in working with adults than children, but has of course been working with all populations while in school. The COVID crisis has meant that many people are turning to teletherapy as an alternative to traditional, in -person therapy. I wish Leanne all the best with her venture, and give her points for innovating this way!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it's great resource, especially during the pandemic.

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  2. This is so awesome! I love the way we are adapting the old methods to new and amazing. This makes help so much more accessible. Well done, Leanne!

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  3. What a great service. Wonderful especially during pandemic. Thanks for sharing, Marcia.

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