“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand,
as in what direction we are moving.”
~Oliver Wendell Holmes
As Speech-Language Pathologists, we grow as we go. We are life learners – continuously seeking new knowledge and improved strategies. In our profession, we use a good balance of evidenced-based procedures as well as those ‘tried and true’ tricks that work for our individual students or clients. When new research surfaces, we scan it over for the newest outcomes.
Telepractice is helping SLPs to provide quality speech therapy services to communities world-wide. In some regions, it is a requirement that the client have an in-person assessment completed before services can begin. This can prevent or slow services in regions where there is not a therapist available or the costs of bringing the SLP to the region is overwhelming for the family or school. Moving forward, developing comprehensive assessment procedures and materials for delivery via telepractice would help SLPs provide evidenced-based and association-supported assessments in regions where an in-person assessment is not an easy option. This supports a valuable mission: giving all communities equal access to quality speech therapy services.
I commend the team of forward-moving individuals who completed a study regarding assessing via telerehabilitation:
Using telerehabilitation to assess apraxia of speech in adults-Anne Jane Hill, Deborah Theodoros, Trevor Russell, Elizabeth Ward
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders
2009, Vol. 44, No. 5: Pages 731-747
In brief, the study assessed adults who have apraxia of speech via telerehabilitation and face-to-face methods.
“Results revealed no significant differences between the subtest scores of the ABA-2 (Apraxia Battery for Adults — 2) obtained in the telerehabilitation and face-to-face test environments.”
Outcomes indicated that participants reported high overall satisfaction with the telerehabilitation system. One challenge reported by the testing SLP was using the telerehabilitation system to assess participants with severe apraxia of speech.
The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) explains apraxia of speech:
Communication can be developed and redeveloped. Our brains hold a powerful capacity for regeneration. A key ingredient to rehabilitation is proper services. Telepractice brings this service to the people who are in urgent need of effective support. Let’s continue the journey to reach them via telepractice. Let’s leave no one behind.
All the best to you,
Marnee Brick, MSc
Speech-Language Pathologist and Director of Speech Therapy
TinyEYE Therapy Services (Speech Therapy Telepractice)
Growing smiles, mending spirits, engaging children in their lives