Online Speech Therapy for Kids: Does it really work?
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Speech therapy. I had avoided it for a while. I hoped that my child would grow out of his struggles with pronunciation.
But by his sixth birthday, it was obvious that he’d need a little extra help with his /r/, /l/, /s/ and /th/ sounds.
We discussed my concerns with our doctor and she recommended speech therapy. She gave us a list of options in our area and I started calling around.
Everywhere I called there was a six-month waiting list — or longer!
Frustrated, I started researching alternatives to traditional speech therapy.
That’s when I stumbled upon Great Speech, an online speech therapy service provided virtually through safe and secure video conferencing technology.
Intrigued, I set up a free consultation to learn more.
I spoke with the founder and clinical director of Great Speech, Avivit Ben-Aharon. Avivit is so kind and really took the time to listen to my concerns and answer all of my questions.
We decided to move forward with an evaluation and enroll my son in online speech therapy.
I’ll be honest, the first couple of times he met with his speech therapist, he was less than thrilled to have his playtime interrupted for “speech class” (as he calls it). I was so nervous that this wasn’t going to work.
BUT… His speech therapist is amazing (Shout out to Ms. Brooke!) and she quickly built a strong rapport with him. She learned about his love of animals and now almost all of his speech therapy sessions are centered around animals and endangered species.
He looks forward to his sessions every single week and has SO much fun.
I’m so impressed with how patient she is and how quickly she gained his trust. I wasn’t sure if he could build a bond with someone he only knew from video sessions, but he definitely has!
Does online speech therapy really work?
How effective is online speech therapy?
Telemedicine and Telehealth are becoming increasingly popular, and studies have shown that online speech therapy is just as effective as traditional, face-to-face therapy.
However, I was still skeptical.
But, in just a few months, my child has mastered his /l/ sound and is moving on to the /s/ sound! We’re thrilled with his progress and can really tell a difference in his articulation, too.
7 Benefits of Online Speech Therapy with GreatSpeech.com
1 – You don’t have to travel to an office
We live in a rural part of North Carolina. Virtually everything is a 30-45 minute drive for us. If we committed to in-person speech therapy, we’d be spending a minimum of 1-1.5 hours in the car per week traveling back and forth.
Online speech therapy with Great Speech saves us tons of money on gas and saves us the headache of getting stuck in traffic and spending tons of time in the car.
2 – Minimal distractions
At a traditional speech therapy center, there are so many distractions. There are people coming in and out, doors opening and closing, babies crying…the list goes on and on.
This can be especially difficult for a child who has a short attention span or who feels anxious in new environments.
With virtual speech therapy, kids are in their home — where they’re the most comfortable and can learn more easily.
3 – It’s easier when juggling multiple kids
As a mom of three, having to haul all three kids to a therapy office would be a huge ordeal. Not only is getting three kids dressed and in the car a huge undertaking, but I’d also then have to keep the other two entertained and occupied while we wait for their brother to have his appointment.
With Great Speech, I don’t have to disrupt my toddler’s naptime routine. My older child can be upstairs doing her homework while her brother is doing online speech therapy.
(And I can be in the next room cooking dinner! Win!)
4 – Better time flexibility
With traditional speech therapy, there’s often a waiting list and you generally have to take an appointment whenever you can get it…and usually during normal business hours.
One huge benefit of virtual speech therapy with Great Speech is that you can start right away AND you have the option of making appointments in the evening or on the weekends.
5 – You can do speech therapy anywhere
If you’re a family who travels frequently, online speech therapy with Great Speech is an amazing solution. Your kiddo will be able to do speech therapy anywhere there’s an internet connection and a webcam! (Grandparents house, hotel, etc.)
My kiddo spends a lot of time at my mom and dad’s, so it’s wonderful we don’t have to schedule his trips around his speech schedule. He just hops on my dad’s laptop to have his session from their house.
6 – It’s safe and effective
Great Speech uses Zoom, which is a safe and secure video-conferencing platform. No fancy equipment is needed, just an internet connection and a computer with any simple webcam, audio speakers, and microphone.
Great Speech is HIPPA compliant and keeps all personally identifiable information secure and encrypted environment.
7. It’s affordable
Our insurance doesn’t cover speech therapy and many people have insurance with a crazy-high deductible. The cost of online speech therapy is more affordable for us than paying out of pocket for an in-person speech therapist.
(Plus we’re saving money on gas since we don’t have to travel back and forth!)
If your child is struggling with articulation, stuttering, or other speech-related concerns, click here to set up a free consultation with Great Speech!
Feel free to leave me a comment if you have any questions about our experience!