With this current State of Emergency and social distancing, many SLPs are adding or switching to providing speech therapy online. But in order for online speech therapy to be legal and just as effective as in-person, we need to be prepared, so we’ve gathered some resources to help:
Welcome to your Road to Speech Therapy Telehealth!
First stop –
ASHA’s Telepractice Portal offers free resources and information about telehealth. https://www.asha.org/Practice-Portal/Professional-Issues/Telepractice/
3 Essentials to implementing telehealth (the rest is just details)
- You must be licensed where YOU physically are AND where your CLIENT is physically is. Check ASHA’s website, as well as https://www.telehealthpolicy.us/telehealth-policy/current-state-laws-and-reimbursement-policies for current state laws.
- You need to choose a platform (keep reading for tips!) that is user-friendly, has the tools you need in the budget you can afford, as well as comply with HIPAA regulations.
- Clients must provide informed consent to using online therapy (Jill Shook has generously offered a free editable consent form in her freebie library).
Check out this curated list of free digital speech therapy materials – sorted by topic. This resource is primarily school-based.
As we are discussing materials, it can be difficult for our clients to understand what’s happening with this global pandemic, and all these changes. Tactus Therapy has used their aphasia expertise to create these free Communication Sheets and resources for Families for clients with aphasia (they would be helpful for most communication disorders)
These are almost too numerous to list, but we’ll give it a try…
- Common teleconference software what will work for telepractice are Zoom, Google Meet, WebEx, Go To Meeting.
- Some developers have created Speech Therapy specific platforms, including TheraVNetwork, TheraPlatform, and Blink.
- Medical-based options include Doxy and Simple Practice.
- If you’re looking for an EMR for your therapy private practice, Simple Practice, TheraPlatform, WebPT all offer video plus EMR options.
- Some only offer screenshare, like Meet and Simple Practice. Others just offer video, like Doxy. Platforms like Zoom, Go To Meeting, TheraVNetwork all offer whiteboard, sharing control, and other options.
How to choose a teletherapy platform
Decide what factors are essential. For me, screenshare is essential. Whiteboard is handy, but I figured out another option (see below). HIPAA Compliance is ESSENTIAL – so be sure your platform will sign a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) to help you keep your practice HIPAA secure.
The options are endless and ever-evolving. Jill over at Private Practice SLP has a convenient telehealth platform comparison chart in her Freebie Library that may be helpful.
What do I recommend?
I’m currently using TheraVNetwork, but I also like Go To Meeting. I do not use Zoom, even though it’s popular, because I’m a small practice and the cost is too high when there are other wonderful options.
Speaking of Zoom….
Did you know you can get fun features of Zoom, while sticking with the cost effective, security of HIPAA-secure platforms?
Mirror your iPad online ….with ANY telepractice platform
One of the benefits of Zoom is the ability to mirror your iPad. One of the concerns of zoom is security, unless you have the HIPAA compliant version with a BAA. Luckily, you can use software to mirror your iPad with any platform that offers screen share, including Doxy, Meet, TheraV, etc. If you have a Mac, it will mirror without issue. If you have a PC, software such as AirServer is one of the best, high quality options out there. There’s a free trial, then a one-time $20 fee. Lonely Screen is another popular option, a $15/year subscription. Both do have a fee, but consider how often you use your iPad during in-person therapy? Would you have to purchase $20++ worth of boomcards and TPT materials to recreate the materials already on your iPad?
For me, having a whiteboard is THE most essential tool for online therapy. Enter Epic Pen. This tool lets you draw, highlight, draw simple shapes, arrows (a favorite), AND type text – as well as CHANGE THE TEXT SIZE! One issue I’ve found with some clients is they need larger text that many whiteboards provide, and writing on the whiteboard is too illegible for quality. This solves that problem. I have noticed, this works best with Screenshare, NOT sharing a tab/window.
Custom Cursor for Google
Add a little fun and make it easier for clients to see your cursor, and direct their attention with this google chrome extension. Plus, it’s free, so a good option to add a little fun to the day with a custom cursor.
Set up your telepractice work area
Setting up your workspace for success will make online speech therapy more comfortable for you and more professional and effective for your clients. Primetime speech offers a guide with 9 considerations
Telepractice HIPAA compliance and security with Person-Centered Tech
Excellent resource on HIPAA compliance, security, and tech with telepractice. Includes free and paid webinars. They were thoughtful enough to move the most relevant Covid-19 resources to their homepage to make it much simpler to find the information you need for adding telepractice to your speech therapy private practice.
ASHA has updated their resources on telepractice, COVID, state licensing law updates, and more. An essential first-stop, and regular reference – https://www.asha.org/About/Coronavirus-Updates/
Facebook Groups provide speech therapists with resources and support
– check out the “files” section and “announcements” for resources.
Join this group if you own a private practice and want to add telepractice
Join this group for recommended (many free!) treatment materials for online therapy.
If you are looking for treatment materials, I just heard about the Ultimate SLP – https://www.ultimateslp.com/ – a subscription of tx materials designed for telepractice. They have a 14 day free trial. then it’s a reasonable $12.95/month. Pair this subscription with Google Meet (free) or pay per use TheraV and you’ll have a HIPAA secure, inexpensive telepractice solution.
Join this group if you work with little ones. Be sure to check out their “files” section! There’s also info/training on how to do online the parent coaching model that’s common in EI
Join this group if you normally see Medicare clients in person, and are now doing telehealth.
Free and Paid Training Opportunities
It’s often worth every penny to have someone walk you through setting up, the do’s and don’t’s and just explain clearly how to do online therapy.
In random order, below are some options. You can also contact Beth from Speech Therapy Connect’s Welcome page for more direct assistance
Jill at Private Practice SLP offers a few blog posts and if you contact her she’s been offering an online training FREE and paid resources- https://www.privatepracticeslp.com/blog (there’s also a quick video telepractice overview on her FB page).
Elive – Melissa runs a telepractice company and regularly offers paid consultations. https://www.elivenow.com/
SLP Solution has guidance for school-based SLPs about what to do when your school closes FREE information- https://www.slpsolution.com/covid-19-response-plan-for-speech-language-professionals-what-to-do-if-your-school-gets-shut-down-for-coronavirus
Linguabilities – Offers several more extensive options, but she’s also offering a reasonably priced $25 “crash course” covering assessment, treatment, technology, and security- https://linguabilities.thinkific.com/courses/telepractice-crash-course
Little Lives Early Childhood Intervention offers examples and information about online EI therapy FREE – https://littleliveseci.com/telehealth
Tracy Sippl offers professional consultations and a course for $40 – https://xceptionaled.com/tell-a-me-about-teletherapy-from-a-to-z-2
Informed SLP collected the research surrounding online speech therapy – FREE– https://www.theinformedslpmembers.com/free-telepractice-research-reviews
Online Speech Services is offering a FREE webinar – https://online-speech-services.teachable.com/p/telepractice-and-business-practices-in-speech-language-pathology; She also offers more indepth paid courses – https://online-speech-services.teachable.com/p/ultimate-telepractice-training/?affcode=389444_law1ss8e
Everything SLP offers free and paid consultations – https://everythingslp.com/products/schedule-a-no-cost-consultation-with-a-telepractice-business-coach-free-service
Also Check out Teachers Pay Teachers for Resources like this one – Teletherapy Tips For A Successful School Year