Before COVID-19 many of us at Eastside Speech had used telehealth for our rural and remote clients, but the pandemic has taken our telehealth skills to the “next level”! A number of our clients now prefer to have speech therapy via telehealth.
Here are some of the FAQs asked by clients and families who inquire about telehealth:
What is Telehelath?
It is speech therapy that is not face to face in the clinic, but done using the phone, FaceTime or an online video platform like Coviu, Webex, Teams or Zoom. You just click on the link sent you via email, or answer your FaceTime call ☺
Can clients have their speech or language skills assessed on telehealth?
Yes we have assessed clients of all ages with many different types of speech difficulties using telehealth and it is still very effective.
What equipment do I need to access telehealth?
You just need a computer or iPad, email address and internet connection. It is helpful but not essential to have a printer, so we can email you some activities to print out for your session in advance.
For therapy sessions with children, we encourage parents to have some playdough, a small container of lego, coloured pencils, paper glue and scissors nearby.
What is the best environment to do telehealth?
Anywhere that is not noisy, without distractions (ie not having the TV on in the background) is ideal. Sitting at a table is ideal, but some clients are able to participate well when sitting in a parked car. Doing therapy “on the move” is generally not very productive.
We ask that all children accessing therapy via telehealth have an adult present to assist with the technology and the session.
What happens if I have connection problems during my session?
We are all (clients and therapists) getting to be masters at solving our technology issues on telehealth!. Often we can swap technology platforms, turn off the video feed, swap to FaceTime, or even revert to the telephone- it’s been amazing how adaptable everyone is.
When all else fails we try to reschedule the appointment.
Do adults and children still make progress using telehealth?
The great thing is that therapy sometimes has become much more consistent, because even if a client has been mildly unwell & unable to come to clinic, they can still participate on telehealth
Our adult clients have not needed to rush from work or from home to attend clinics- telehealth has saved time, and is more convenient.
Parents have also reported how their own skills & understanding of their child’s speech issues have improved due to participating in therapy via telehealth.
Can I receive Medicare or Private Health rebates for telehealth therapy sessions?
At this time Medicare and many private health providers are enabling claims for telehealth sessions.
If you are interested in accessing our services either in person or via telehealth, please call us now on 02 9313 8980.