Understanding The Requirements For Starting Online Speech Therapy

Medically reviewed by Brianne Rehac, LMHC
Updated April 30, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Aimed to help those – children and adults alike – with speech impediments, language problems, and accent modification, speech therapy has been found to be an effective method for those struggling with vocal expression to speak more clearly. Carefully crafted plans of action are employed by licensed language therapists, who have earned a master's degree in speech-language pathology, to develop and monitor the progress of their patients.

At its core, the goal of a speech therapy program is to improve communication skills and experience. This can range from public speaking and social skills to treating stuttering or lisping, and it is often a combination of both in-person sessions and online language therapy. Depending on the needs of the individual, each treatment plan can be tailored to focus on individual goals.

The field of connected speech pathology with a qualified therapist is highly effective in providing better services and professional communication development for adults. However, there are certain requirements that need to be met to utilize the benefits of speech therapy services for children, adolescents, and adults.

What is a speech therapist?

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, speech therapists, otherwise known as Speech-language pathologists (SLPs), “work to prevent, assess, diagnose, and treat speech, language, social communication, cognitive-communication, and swallowing disorders in children and adults.” Certified SLPs must hold at least master’s degrees, complete required clinical experiences, and pass a national certification exam.

Reasons to pursue connected speech pathology treatment

Connected speech pathology is the study and treatment of people’s ability to speak continuously, as is typically heard in conversation. Although the reasons people may begin this type of therapy can vary, some common reasons include:

  • Articulation disorders
  • Fluency disorders, such as stuttering
  • Voice disorders
  • Hearing impairments
  • Feeding and swallowing disorders
  • Weak oral muscles
  • Traumatic injuries

If you are experiencing trauma, support is available. Please see our Get Help Now page for more resources.

According to the Columbia University Medical Center, voice, swallowing, and breathing disorders can lead to other mental health conditions, such as anxiety, which is one reason treating these conditions can be important.

Choosing a virtual service

It was said in "How Online Speech Therapy is Transforming Speech" that taking therapy online is more convenient than doing a session in person. The reason some might prefer online therapy to face-to-face speech therapy is because face-to-face therapy may be more expensive and more restrictive than online sessions in terms of scheduling, especially for working adults.

In addition, many adults who utilize online therapy may find it more entertaining or fun to learn through a computer and mixed media during their sessions, and easier to communicate with a speech therapist. It may also draw children of all ages into committing to therapy. Connected speech pathology can be a challenging form of therapy for achieving better speech abilities, but it can be beneficial to make it as enjoyable as possible. 
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The requirements for online speech therapy

To try speech therapy, not only is one required to have a computer with an internet connection, but one will also need a webcam and a headset with a microphone. 

Though it may be true that some who is looking for online therapy may not be able to afford the necessary equipment, there are other means of finding online therapy services or an online therapist, some of which accept insurance and some that utilize a pay treatment plan format.

For children of all ages who are students, it is very possible that they can use the necessary equipment at schools, libraries, or other learning establishments and districts to communicate with their therapist in speech therapy. Other possibilities for utilizing affordable online speech therapy could be through hospitals and clinics.

Some of these same facilities can also lend you a headset and microphone if they have some available to check out. Other things that might be needed for online therapy are an email account, good lighting, and a quiet environment, which are free and may be available in all the listed facilities.

Other options

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With the help of a therapist specialized in connected speech pathology, great speech is achievable. And while BetterHelp does not offer online speech therapy services for adults, it does provide other kinds of online therapy services offered by our team of licensed therapists.

The therapists at BetterHelp are highly qualified and experienced with helping people like you who are struggling in their daily life, whether that is due to mental health issues or even due to problems related to communication.

When it comes to speech therapy, the same rules apply when seeking online services for children or adults. It’s important to ensure that your therapist is licensed and that they offer free consultation so you can make sure they are the right fit for your individual needs. With early intervention, speech therapy can be used to improve language skills as well as communication goals. When working with a licensed therapist online, you can have personalized sessions tailored to your own unique needs. And while online speech therapy is effective, some individuals may benefit more from in person treatment with licensed therapists.

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Takeaway

Online speech therapy is an effective way to treat any frustrations you may have with speaking. BetterHelp does not offer speech therapy, but they do offer many other kinds of therapy. For example, online cognitive behavioral therapy has been proven to be effective in treating anxiety and depression, two disorders that often have a comorbidity with speech impairments.

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