Coronavirus has been officially declared a pandemic.
Schools are closed in some parts of the country.
Businesses and healthcare offices may be next.
Some consumers are worried they will not be able to access the speech therapy services they need- for themselves or for their family members and they are researching online speech therapy alternatives as a backup plan.
As the coronavirus continues to spread globally, The Center for Disease Control is exploring alternatives to face-to-face contact. Online speech therapy has been proven to be an effective, convenient and individualized alternative to traditional speech therapy services.
In the event of an outbreak like the coronavirus, online speech therapy offers several advantages over in-person, traditional clinical services, protecting both clients and practitioners.
Here are the top three benefits of online speech therapy during the coronavirus outbreak and flu season.
1. Practice Social Distancing: Avoiding Unnecessary Exposure to Germs
The Center for Disease Control suggests avoiding close contact with people who are sick, and putting distance between yourself and others to prevent the spread of the virus within your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk such as the elderly or those with other medical conditions.
Online speech therapy services limit exposure to viruses by allowing clients to avoid physical contact with other clients in waiting rooms as well as with the speech therapists in the office or your home.
The Center for Disease Control suggests being at least six feet away from another person in a waiting room, which can be difficult to maintain in an often busy and crowded office. In an in-home setting, sitting six feet away from a therapist may feel impersonal and distracting.
In-home speech therapists travel from one client to the next and can potentially expose clients to germs unintentionally. Some clients and their family members have compromised immune systems and this unnecessary exposure can be detrimental to their overall health. This includes clients recovering from a stroke, traumatic brain injury, autoimmune disease and genetic disorders. While currently there is no data available on the possibility of an increased risk for pregnant women, common-sense dictates avoiding anyone who has symptoms.
Currently there is no vaccine available for the coronavirus. Practicing hand hygiene, cough etiquette and social distancing is key to preventing the spread of the virus.
2. Maintain Consistent Speech Therapy Schedules to Ensure Client Success
Online speech therapy services allow clients and speech therapists to maintain consistent schedules regardless of school closures, limited clinic hours and service interruptions due to inclement weather or illnesses such as the flu and the coronavirus outbreak. Nontraditional academic models, like homeschooling, utilize the innovative online speech therapy model to support the needs of homeschooled students.
During the winter, weather disruptions are fairly common due to heavy snowfall, strong winds and rainstorms. These interruptions can easily shut down school districts and clinics but rarely impact online speech therapy services.
Even during a flu or coronavirus outbreak, clients and therapists, who have been quarantined without symptoms, are still able to receive and provide services and maintain a sense of normalcy during a potentially stressful time.
With online speech therapy services, like Great Speech, clients can follow their prescribed therapy plan with their recommended frequency and are able to reschedule easily as needs arise. The result is convenience, consistency in care and general improvement over a shorter period of time.
3. Save Valuable Time and Focus on the Priorities
Online speech therapy typically takes place in the comfort of your home or office and at a time that is mutually convenient for both the client and therapist. While you may be preoccupied with a possible coronavirus outbreak in your community or hastily trying to stockpile supplies to keep your family safe, the last thing you have the time for is driving to a speech therapy appointment.
With online speech therapy, access to a sub-specialist in your area no longer means spending valuable time in the car traveling or delayed in traffic. Qualified companies like Great Speech will match you with a highly qualified online speech therapist that will support your communication journey, help you master your speech and language goals and achieve success.
The Great Speech Mission: Stay safe. Stay healthy.
Spread the word NOT the virus.
In preparation for the possible impact of the coronavirus in local communities, the Great Speech team is available to support the growing need for online speech therapy services. Our goal is to offer expedited enrollment and fill in short term gaps in services as needed.
Our dedicated team of speech therapists are adding hours and will continue to try to accommodate those in need during this healthcare crisis. We are dedicated to be proactive in providing services but also protective of the health of our clients and therapists and their families.
Schedule a free consultation today to see how Great Speech can help you, a family member or friend receive the speech therapy services they need.