Administering the assessment process on line is different from the process that is used in a one on one consultation where by you may visit the clinic. Systems and procedures have been added in the online professional service model to enable the highest level of therapeutic intervention and in attending to the individualised nature of your needs. However, even under the most optimal circumstances online therapy will be more challenging as the therapist is not in the room with you and can’t interact directly with the child or yourself using some equipment and therapy techniques that are standard to our industry. For example, conducting an oromotor examination of the inside of your mouth, feeling your throat or physically touching you or your child to demonstrate an articulation skill. By the addition of creativity, enguinuity and transference of the equipment or training in undertaking the therapy techniques, our goals in attending to the assessment and undertaking the therapy program can be met to the highest standard.
What do you need to do to prepare for your assessment?
As part of the administration process of completing you or your child’s details, you will also have needed to complete a history question which will inform us of you or your child’s:
- pregnancy and birth history
- developmental history
- medical history
- educational history
- observations of areas that are a challenge and need supporting
We also will be needing information about any previous medical assessments from your General Practitioner, Specialist or other therapists that you have attended
Once this information is received from you, we will then be able to book the first online appointment with your Speech Pathologist. The information would have been collated, read and understood so that the practitioner can prepare for your session. As direct contact time with your Speech Pathologist in consultation is valuable time, it is better to have this information collected offline to assist in lowering the costs of the service which then allows the therapist time to focus on the assessment process, evaluation and prescribing the appropriate treatment program for you and your family. So how is this done?
The initial assessment is undertaken in multiple stages as outlined below.
Stage 1: The Collating of case history information and medical reports.
This step as outlined above involves becoming familiar with your case history details and concerns so that the Speech Pathologist can understand what type of condition you may be needing support with. This will better direct the choice of assessments that you or your child may need to be given. It is important for us to prepare for your session as we may need to prepare information to be transferred to you electronically or as files.
Stage 2: The Initial Contact with your Speech Pathologist
Your initial contact with us is for your Speech Pathologist to introduce herself and to discuss with you your initial case history information and the process of the speech pathology assessment. This will be a chance for your practitioner to ask specific and targeted questions based on your condition to further understand how she/he can help you. Depending on the condition to be supported (eg. articulation, language, literacy, communication, voice or swallowing) you or your child may be given an assessment online directly with the therapist. In some instances, due to the Speech Pathologist not being in the room, she/he may need you to indicate specific details of the assessment to help the process. Some assessments will be sent to you by computer files that you watch and learn how to undertake the assessment and write down your child’s answers to send back to the therapist.
Stage 3: Undertaking the assessment on line and from your home
In specific circumstances you may be asked to collect a sample of your child’s speech or undertake the assessment yourself to provide the details to your therapist. You will be given guide material to help you through this process. This information will then be evaluated by the Speech Pathologist and where possible, a diagnosis and treatment plan developed.