For parents of children receiving speech therapy, you’ll be all too familiar with the laundry list of expectations from traditional therapists which often sound reasonable in theory, but can be completely impractical in reality.
This includes getting your child to practice during standard business hours Monday-Friday; traveling to the clinic to receive the therapy which may be several hours away for families in rural Australia; forcing your child to be cooperative in a completely new and unfamiliar environment; and of course, if you have more than one child, there’s the extra work of juggling these challenges with multiple children at the same time.
This is where online therapy, which research shows can be just as effective as in-person therapy, can help. It not only offers an alternative solution but can also alleviate the stress and pressure around managing the logistical ] nightmare of speech therapy on your own.
If you’re new to online therapy, here are some of the benefits customers often tell that makes a huge difference to their family by being able to access experienced therapists in the comfort of their own homes and on their own schedule:
- You really don’t have to get out of your PJs – or perhaps you should, but your child definitely doesn’t have to!
- Your child is often more comfortable in their home environment and may engage more with the therapist. It is also great for the therapist to have an insight into your home environment.
- You don’t have to take all of your kids to each appointment. I experienced first-hand the challenge of having to bring along several children to my son’s in-person treatment, and have a few photos of two of my kids wrestling on the waiting room floor while my child had therapy – and I’m not the only one who’s been through this!
- You can share the load. You may identify a teacher, pre-school carer or support worker who can work with your child and the therapist as a key worker. Having this additional support may help share the load for you as a parent.
When looking for a provider, make sure their approach and ethos is family-led, with a focus on working towards a family’s needs. That means being flexible and convenient, with a truly individualised approach for each child and family so the best outcome possible is achieved…. and no trekking to appointments with all kids in tow!
About Francesca Pinzone
Francesca Pinzone is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of online allied health services provider, Umbo. She is passionate about bringing health services to children in rural communities and removing social inequalities. She has a MA in International Public Health from the University of
Sydney, a Graduate Certificate in Social Impact from the University of NSW, and a Bachelor of Science, Nursing from the University of Technology, Sydney.
Francesca has over 12 years of experience working in non-profit organisations and in international development, having previously worked with Medecins Sans Frontieres in Pakistan, UNICEF in India and CanTeen in Australia, and also currently teaches Creating Social Change: From Innovation to Impact at UNSW Sydney with the Centre for Social Impact.
She is also a mother of a child who has received speech therapy.