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Steps to start Online Speech and Language Therapy

What to expect after your initial enquiry to us.

After you have submitted your enquiry, Joe, the CATTS practice manager will get in touch with you. (That’s me!)

I receive all enquiries from our social media pages, websites, and other directories so that everyone can get a speedy (I hope) response. Depending on the timing, I may try to email you some information to answer your question, or seek more details so we can help you better. Any email responses usually come from my directly. My email is jmorris @ catts . ie (With no spaces).

If you have sent us an enquiry, please check your email’s JUNK mail or SPAM folder in case it sent my response to there.

If your enquiry is something that I immediately know we can support you with through online therapy, I’ll usually have a short phone call, or email, and then we will try find a good time that suits both you, and one of our team. This doesn’t negate the importance, or urgency by the way. If a 2 year old is developing an issue – even if it is something we see every day – it is still important that we start getting it addressed ASAP to help the child.

Occasionally we get enquiries that will require one of our team who specialises in a specific area. In these situations it is case dependent, and I work with you to ensure that we can see you in a timely manner if possible.

Lastly, we can get enquiries where although it is ‘technically’ possible to help via online, our team feel people are best served by in-person. In these cases we will refer you on. Where there are situations that a local clinic we may suggest is full, at parents request, we will still take you on via online therapy. (Sometimes parents whose child may do wonderfully either in-person, or virtually, may insist on being seen in person. This means those children who need the on-site support can’t always get it).

So far, parents who we have taken up online with us in these situations have wished to remain even when a local spot eventually became available. But we will always refer on if we feel it is not the ideal option for you.

How it works in practice.

Our online clinics take place over www.zoom.us You would be sent a secure individual link by your therapist, before your appointment. (This link and security code change for every appointment for privacy reasons).


Normally depending on your child’s age, 30 minute or 45 minute sessions would be recommended. Sometimes the first therapy session can take longer in case you and the therapist need more time. (It can be helpful to ask your child to go with another family member or to play with toys etc, so you and the therapist can have a quiet chat about what she thinks).

Online therapy for children is pretty much run the same as in clinic therapy, as the work is done through the parent. People are often puzzled by how a child, especially young children can sit for an online session?

There are still some misconceptions about online speech therapy as it is such a new way of service delivery in Ireland.
We’ve compiled a few of the more common ones here. (Link opens in New tab)


Well – just think of your normal Skype or Zoom call with adults as similar to watching a grown up serious TV programme such as the news, or ‘Prime Time’ at 9.30 at night. You wouldn’t think to ask a young child to sit through it, it’s not catered to them. Likewise, most Zoom or Skype calls parents will have had themselves, will have been catered to an adult audience.

Think of Paediatric Speech Therapy Online sessions as similar to a children’s TV programme in that it is geared towards what the child will like, and want to see and do.

When arranging the first session, our therapist would want to know from you what sort of things your child is into, e.g. Paw Patrol, Thomas the Tank Engine, Spiderman, Star Wars, etc., so that they can redecorate the virtual room in advance for them. We have some lovely feedback from current parents on how they are finding Online Speech and Language Therapy with their children of all abilities and ages, here: https://www.cattsireland.com/testimonials/

Sometimes older kids, and young adults may wish for a more ‘grown up’ type approach, which we can also accommodate. We check with you first as to what you think your child would prefer.

We have a few tips to help make online therapy work best here: https://www.cattsireland.com/onlinetherapy/

We also have a handout here, which can help you set things up if you need help:
https://www.cattsireland.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Zoom-Directions-for-Therapy.pdf

If you are interested in the behind the scenes of online therapy, this video explains how we make children’s Online Speech and Language Therapy fun:
https://www.cattsireland.com/how-we-make-online-speech-and-language-therapy-fun/

The first steps from your initial enquiry would be as follows:

1. If possible we would have a short phone call where we would run through how things normally work, and get an initial idea of your area of concern for your child’s speech and/or language. (This doesn’t necessarily need to happen if time is short, as our Case Referral form that we will ask you to complete will have all the details the therapist will need in order to start off therapy).

2. We would find a time that suits both you and the therapist. We would usually try to get a timeslot that we know is free on repeating weeks, so should you or your child require longer term support, that time is yours!

3. Ideally, you will return the Case History form to our therapist about 48-72 hours before the first therapy session. It is individualised therapy and normally they need time preferably a few days beforehand to prepare for the session. You’ll have your first therapy session along with your child within a week or two of contacting us.

And that’s it.

So, if you haven’t already and want to take the next step, please Contact us.

Thanks.

Joe Morris
Practice Manager

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