Owing to the current Covid-19 situation, Telehealth remains the safest way for me to provide services to children and young people.
Online Speech and Language Therapy is new to most people so I have tried to answer some of the more common questions below. If however you have any additional questions please do contact me.
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is the delivery of health services via live video conferencing. It is similar to having a face-to-face appointment, but the activities are carried out over the computer. If you have used Zoom, Skype or FaceTime then you are already familiar with the type of technology being used.
What do I need to be able to access Telehealth?
To be able to access Telehealth you will need a computer or laptop with a built-in or external webcam, speaker and microphone. You will also need a Wi-Fi connection and a phone (so that I can call you if there are any technical issues).
What does an online Speech and Language Therapy session look like?
An online session is similar to a face-to-face appointment. Once we have agreed a date and time for your appointment I will send you an e-mail invitation. I may ask you to have some toys available for the appointment, such as some Lego bricks or a musical instrument. When it is time for your appointment, click on the link in your invitation and this will take you to your meeting with me.
During the appointment I may:
- Spend some time talking to you about your child and their communication.
- Show pictures to your child and ask them questions about these.
- Play interactive games with your child. For example, guessing games or sorting activities.
- Observe your child carrying out an activity.
Is Telehealth right for my child?
Telehealth works well for many children but it isn’t right for everyone. Children with very short attention spans or more complex needs may find it hard to access input over the computer. If this is the case, please contact me to discuss other options. You are welcome to have a 15 minute trial session to see if online therapy is right for you and your child.
How much does it cost?
- An initial assessment is £150. This includes information gathering (e.g. reading reports written by other professionals, taking a case history), liaison with school based staff about your child’s current communication strengths and needs, direct assessment via Telehealth and a written report with recommendations.
- Therapy sessions cost £60 each. This includes all planning and preparation of resources, direct work with your child, discussion with yourself (the parent/carer) and setting of homework (activities to support communication development between sessions).
What are the risks and how are these managed?
As with any technology, there are risks involved and you may be concerned about digital privacy and security. To help manage these risks:
- I only ever send invitations for pre-arranged appointments (i.e. appointments agreed over the phone or via e-mail).
- Each appointment has its own password and is locked so that only the people invited can join.
- I will never video or audio record the appointment, unless you have given permission for this to happen. Recordings will only ever be made for the purposes of assessment or therapy. Recordings will be deleted as soon as they are no longer required.
- I will carry out your appointment from a private and confidential room. What is said in the appointment is confidential, as it is in a face-to-face appointment.
- I will ensure that all information (e.g. case notes, correspondence) is stored securely and treated confidentially, according to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018.
To help with managing risk you can:
- Ensure your computer has all the latest security updates installed.
- Make sure you are in a private, quiet place for your appointment.