The first step in our journey is to create a plan of action. If we don’t know where we are going then we don’t know how to get there. The most important things are that this plan addresses both your therapeutic needs and the specific areas you want to work on.
What is right for you is what we work on, not what is right for a ‘typical’ client.
Once we have goals, we will create a flexible plan of therapy that follows your needs. I have clients that see me on many different schedules, from monthly to weekly, to twice per week, to daily. It just depends on your needs and availability.
I also offer evenings and weekend times depending on availability (clients often want these times so they go quickly).
Communication Needs Counseling
Depending on the communication disorder, and your own feelings, there may be more or less need for counseling. Often the need for speech therapy is quite stressful and my clients want the opportunity to talk through issues.
I welcome the opportunity to help you through the emotional minefield that can come with finding out that you or your loved one has a speech or language need.
Develop Your Toolset
An important part of any therapy is the time spent working between sessions. If we don’t put the strategies we learn into daily practice then we never really move forward. It’s a lot like learning a musical instrument. The therapy appointments themselves are only part of the work, though a very important part.
The real change is made through you or your loved one’s daily practice.
How Do I know If Online Speech Therapy is Right For Me and My Family?
Online speech therapy is not the best choice for every person and every need. At our initial consultation we will discuss your specific needs and determine if what I offer is right for you.
For now, here are some quick guidelines.
Online Speech Therapy Requires Active Participation
Especially when working with younger, school aged children or children who have difficulty maintaining attention, parents or caregivers need to be actively involved in treatment. This doesn’t always mean sitting directly with the child (although it can), but it does mean having regular discussions and contact with me.
Online Speech Therapy Works Well for Early Intervention
Currently, best practices in Early Intervention in the United States are to perform Caregiver Education. By spending our time working on developing in you the skills and knowledge of how to implement strategies, we offer your child the opportunity to have the best therapist they can have (you) and therapy integrated into their whole day.
Online Speech Therapy Works Well for School Aged Kids
Speech therapy for children, especially school-aged children, often works best through telepractice (online speech therapy). This is because of two reasons:
1. Children are usually incredibly internet and tech savvy! They are often very comfortable working within the online space.
2. The range of activities and methods we can use to work on skills is almost unlimited. I have clients using blog/book writing, programming, video creation, reading books, and photo editing, to work on skills such as articulation, receptive language, expressive language and executive function skills (problem solving, memory and attention).
Online Speech Therapy Works Well for Stroke and TBI
Stroke, TBI and other acquired neurogenic speech and language disorders benefit hugely from telepractice! The traditional practices of using flash cards or other exercises meant to drill one skill in isolation is being re-examined with an eye towards a whole-person approach and making sure that skills can be used in context of every day life. By working online, we can work on the things that you love to do. You can set me up in your kitchen on a laptop while you cook, you can share your screen and work with me while you write, you can even read books or watch movies with me and discuss them to support your re-emerging speech and language skills.
Online Speech Therapy is Not Right for PROMPT, etc.
Any kind of hands-on treatment protocol is pretty much off-limits for telepractice. The limits of the screen create a barrier that stops me from performing any therapy that includes me touching the physical face or body of my clients. Treatments such as PROMPT absolutely require a hands-on approach that cannot be performed through telepractice.
About Seth Koster
Seth Koster is a Speech-Language Pathologist and sought after international speaker.
He has lectured and taught at universities and hospitals in the United States and Asia on topics including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Childhood Apraxia of Speech and working with linguistically and culturally diverse populations.
He has worked in early intervention, educational, and medical settings, both as a clinician as well as a Program Director.
He currently runs an online private practice, serving clients throughout the world.