Services During COVID-19

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SERVICES DURING COVID 19 RESTRICTIONS

Here at Let’s Connect Speech, we value the health and safety of our clients and families. During these uncertain times, we are following recommendations from the Department of Health while working hard to ensure our services can continue.

Reducing social contact will help to restrict the spread of COVID-19. Currently, our speech pathologists are working offsite, providing online services which may include video conferencing, sharing resources, or phone calls. This is known as tele-health or tele-practice.
 
What is Telehealth?

“Telepractice is the application of telecommunications technology to deliver clinical services at a distance by linking clinician to client, caregiver, or any person(s) responsible for delivering care to the client, for the purposes of assessment, intervention, consultation and/or supervision.” (Speech Pathology Australia, 2014, p. 1). While current times have called for an increase in telehealth, it is not a new practice. Telehealth has been around for many years to provide services to people who otherwise cannot access them. Telehealth may involve a combination
of direct online assessment or therapy sessions (using a video conferencing platform such as Zoom or Coviu), phone-based sessions, resource sharing and/or parent training.

As always in speech pathology, we are keeping up to date with current research to guide our practices. Research has shown that children receiving speech, language, and stuttering therapy via videoconferencing make similar progress to those receiving face to face therapy 1, 2, 3 . Parent coaching for early intervention therapy has also been shown to be effective through telehealth 4, 5 . So that we can continue to provide services to our existing and new clients, we are open for therapy sessions and new referrals, which, for the time being, are being conducted via videoconferencing. This includes assessing new clients skills.  There is research that supports the use of telehealth for assessment of speech, language, stuttering and literacy difficulties 2, 6, 7, 8, 9 , meaning that it can be just as effective as face to face assessment sessions.  Of course, this depends on the child and can be determined in collaboration with you. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you all again soon!

Stay safe and healthy 🙂

For more information regarding COVID-19, visit the Australian Department of
Health website here: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-
health-alert

 
References:

  1. Wales, D., Skinner, L., & Hayman, M. (2016). The Efficacy of Telehealth-Delivered
    Speech and Language Intervention for Primary School-Age Children: A
    Systematic Review. 9(1), 55–70. https://doi.org/10.5195/ijt.2017.6219
  2. Mcgill, M., Noureal N., & Siegel, J. (2019). Telepractice Treatment of Stuttering: A
    Systematic Review. Telemedicine and e-Health, 25(5), 359–368.
    https://doi.org/10.1089/tmj.2017.0319
  3. Grogan-Johnson, S., Schmidt, A., Schenker, J., Alvares, R., Rowan, L., & Taylor, J.
    (2013)
    . A Comparison of Speech Sound Intervention Delivered by Telepractice
    and Side-by-Side Service Delivery Models. Communication Disorders Quarterly,
    34(4), 210–220. https://doi.org/10.1177/1525740113484965
  4. Olsen, S., Fiechtl, B.,& Rule, S. (2012). An Evaluation of Virtual Home Visits in Early
    Intervention: Feasibility of “Virtual Intervention.” The Volta Review, 112(3),
    267–281. https://doi.org/10.17955/tvr.112.3.m.702
  5. Snodgrass, M., Chung, M., Biller, M., Appel, K., Meadan, H., & Halle, J. (2017).
    Telepractice in Speech–Language Therapy: The Use of Online Technologies for
    Parent Training and Coaching. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 38(4),
    242–254. https://doi.org/10.1177/1525740116680424
  6. Ciccia, A., Whitford, B., Krumm, M., & Mcneal, K. (2011), Improving the access of
    young urban children to speech, language and hearing screening via telehealth.
    Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare, 17(5), 240–244.
    https://doi.org/10.1258/jtt.2011.100810
  7. Eriks-Brophy, A., Quittenbaum, J., Anderson, D., & Nelson, T. (2008). Part of the
    problem or part of the solution? Communication assessments of Aboriginal
    children residing in remote communities using videoconferencing. Clinical
    Linguistics & Phonetics, 22(8), 589–609.
    https://doi.org/10.1080/02699200802221737
  8. Waite, M. C., Theodoros, D. G., Russell, T. G., & Cahill, L. M. (2010). Internet-Based
    Telehealth Assessment of Language Using the CELF-4. Language, Speech &
    Hearing Services in Schools, 41(4), 445–458. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2009/08-
    0131).
  9. Waite, M., Theodoros, D., Russell, T., & Cahill, L. (2010). Assessment of children’s
    literacy via an Internet-based telehealth system. Telemedicine and e-Health,
    16(5), 564–575. https://doi.org/10.1089/tmj.2009.0161
    Speech Pathology Australia. (2014). Telepractice in Speech Pathology Position
    Statement [Position Statement]. Retrieved from:
    https://www.speechpathologyaustralia.org.au/SPAweb/Members/Position_State
    ments/Position_Statements.aspx?hkey=b1a46941-246c-4609-bacc-
    1c1b5c52d19d#tp