What is Teletherapy
Real-time live therapy services provided in an online format, typically involving videoconferencing.
Confidentiality and Privacy
Speech-language pathologists are obligated to protect the confidentiality and privacy for all documentation, communication, and transmission of information regarding client personal health information. Zoom is a teleconferencing company that can be set up to comply with the applicable laws for teletherapy, including enabling end to end encryption, disabling in-meeting chat, Cloud recording and file-sharing.
While Zoom is a US company, it does have servers in Canada. Teletherapy meetings using Zoom will not be recorded without express permission of the client’s legal guardian. It should be noted that no technological communication can be guaranteed to be fully secure.
Evidence for Teletherapy
There is evidence for the efficacy of using teletherapy in the assessment and treatment of a wide range of speech and language disorders, including articulation, autism, fluency, language, voice, cognitive, neurodevelopmental disabilities, aphasia, dysarthria and dysphagia. Studies reveal that both teletherapy and in-person participants make significant and similar improvements in measured speech-language outcomes.
Benefits of Teletherapy
- Services can be provided conveniently in the comfort of your own home.
- Improved access to services.
- Potential for increased frequency of services.
- Students typically thrive in a technology-based environment.
- Potential for greater caregiver involvement / learning to support generalization of skills.
- The option to observe shy or withdrawn clients when in-person observation may be distracting or may not be possible.
Challenges Related to Use of Teletherapy
- Additional time, experience, and support may be required for professionals and clients to become comfortable with the technology and to troubleshoot challenging situations.
- Risk of communication failures at critical points during sessions.
- Limited access to teletherapy equipment. You MUST have internet access.
Expectations for Appointments
- Sign-in 5-10 minutes before the appointment start time.
- Expect to receive the same amount of direct therapy time as in face-to-face sessions.
- An adult must be nearby to help with technical difficulties and provide support.
- Limit background noise and visual distractions as much as possible.
- DO NOT record sessions.
- Prepare your child for online appointments (including possible technical difficulties) with the expectation they will remain at the computer for the duration of the session. Please make sure your child eats and uses the bathroom before sessions, and has a drink available during sessions.
The regular fee schedule applies to all teletherapy services. In the event of technical difficulties, efforts will be made to make up the time either by extending the appointment length, preparing notes or instructions and sending them by email, or continuing the appointment on the phone with a caregiver.
Consent for Teletherapy Service
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