Steps to start Online Speech and Language Therapy

What to expect after your initial enquiry.

Currently as per the IASLT guidance, all our clinics are taking place online. (Apart from a small part of the SLT discipline such as dysphagia, most speech therapy can be done remotely as effectively as in person).


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).

We always offer something called a Test Call to new clients, especially with young children. This follows the same process as therapy appointments so that you have the chance to run through the whole setup.

The test call is a good way to alleviate any mystery about what to expect. Mostly, it allows any technical gremlins to be dealt with without any stress or hassle. Just make sure that you use the same equipment you are planning on using for online therapy. Sometimes we have had a parent do the test call on their phone, but when it comes to the therapy session the next day, they wanted to use a laptop etc., but it was not setup for them. The test call would normally take place with your child and yourself.

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?

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 test call, 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, 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/

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. 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.

2. We would then setup the Test Call with you which would take place usually within 48 hours, and we would send you a copy of our Case History form and referral form.

3. At the Test call, our therapist would introduce themselves to you and your child, break the ice a little, and help ensure you are all setup for success at your side. At the end of the Test call, you would then agree the date and time of the first therapy session.

4. 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.

5. 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 want to take the next step, please Contact us.

Thanks.

Joe Morris
Practice Manager

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