While sheltering in place due to COVID-19, many families (and SLPs) had no choice but to go forth into the world of speech and language teletherapy. Although it was an adjustment to switch from in-person therapy, there is a growing base of evidence to support the efficacy of teletherapy for speech and language outcomes.
One study by Wales, Danielle et al. in 2017 examined whether telehealth-delivered speech-language pathology interventions are as effective as traditional in-person delivery for school-age children with speech/language difficulties. Based on a systematic review of 7 articles, results revealed both telehealth and in-person participants made significant and similar improvements when treatment effects were measured through five of the six outcome measures. The outcome measures included: Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation – Second Edition (GFTA-2), Functional Communication Measures (FCMs), goal achievement, informal probes, comparison of baselines with post-intervention production levels, quarterly progress reports, and participant satisfaction.
While more research needs to be conducted, the findings provided promising evidence to support telehealth for delivering speech-language pathology intervention services to school-age children.
Wales, Danielle et al. “The Efficacy of Telehealth-Delivered Speech and Language Intervention for Primary School-Age Children: A Systematic Review.” International journal of telerehabilitation vol. 9,1 55-70. 29 Jun. 2017, doi:10.5195/ijt.2017.6219
Tohidast, Seyed Abolfazl et al. “Provision of speech-language pathology services for the treatment of speech and language disorders in children during the COVID-19 pandemic: Problems, concerns, and solutions.” International journal of pediatric otorhinolaryngology, vol. 138 110262. 15 Jul. 2020, doi:10.1016/j.ijporl.2020.110262