COVID-19 came into everyone’s lives at an unpredictable time. It has affected every aspect of our lives, including the ability for people with Autism to access speech and language therapy. Switching from in-person speech and language therapy to Telehealth has not been easy, but the great thing about Telehealth is that it has allowed people with Autism to continue their therapy and improve their speech. Yet, the question is, how effective is it?
Well, researchers set out to answer this question! A recent study was published in the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. In this study, researchers looked at 14 separate studies, where 284 participants on the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), whose ages ranged from 19 months to adulthood, were observed using Telehealth for diagnostic assessments, early intervention, and language therapy.
The results from the study suggested that clients with Autism received the same benefits from Telehealth compared to in-person therapy!
Benefits of Telehealth include:
- The diagnosis of ASD virtually was similar to the diagnoses of ASD in-person.
- Positive impacts were shown when it came to improved communication.
- Challenging behaviour and anxiety was reduced.
- The costs of Telehealth were found to be cheaper compared to in-person services.
- Parents of younger children and older adults reported that they were satisfied with the virtual therapy sessions.
- Parents who were coached by SLPs (Speech Language Pathologists) to implement tasks to their children during these sessions reported that their learning and involvement was improved using Telehealth.
So, let this research alleviate your worries. If your child or loved one has ASD and was in speech therapy, don’t let Telehealth discourage you from continuing treatments. Look at Telehealth as a new opportunity for your child or loved one to learn and improve their speech. We may be living in a difficult time, but speech therapy can and will still continue!
To find out more about our Telehealth Therapy Services, get in touch with us on 02 9398 3020.