Therapy Toolbox is proud to now offer telepractice as an additional means to provide individual and group therapy. telepractice is a method of delivering speech therapy online using a computer and camera set up in a client’s home or in a classroom with a public or private school. A telepractice session occurs in real time and face-to-face with the clinician.
Telepractice was approved by ASHA as an appropriate service delivery in 2005. ASHA’s position is that “telepractice is an appropriate model of service delivery for the professions of speech-language pathology [and audiology]. Telepractice may be used to overcome barriers of access to services caused by distance, unavailability of specialists and/or subspecialists, and impaired mobility” (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, “Speech-Language Pathologists Providing Clinical Services via Telepractice: Position Statement,” 2005). Therapy Toolbox complies with all of ASHA’s requirements and with federal and state laws and regulations. During our telepractice sessions, we use SSL encryption technology, which is currently used by a large number of health and educational institutions.
The two federal laws addressing confidentiality are the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). HIPAA requires that health records are kept secure and that telepractice sessions be protected from unauthorized access. FERPA requires that schools have a student’s consent prior to the disclosure of education records.
Telepractice will not work for every child. In order to determine if telepractice would work for your child, an evaluation must be completed in our office. Based on the results from this evaluation, a decision will then be made to determine if telepractice is a viable option for therapy with your child.
As all things with speech and language, not all insurance agencies will cover telepractice services, so you will need to check with your insurance company to find out if they will reimburse for this type of service.
A session using telepractice does require equipment, which includes:
- Web camera with 15 FPS (frames per second) capture rate (built in or separate)
- Headset with attached microphone (analog or USB)
- High-speed Internet connection (150 kbps minimum)
If you have Windows XP:
- 2 GB of RAM P4 with 2GHZ processor or equivalent
If you have Windows Vista / Windows 7:
- 3 GB of RAM P4 with 3GHZ processor or equivalent
If you have Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), 10.5 (Leopard) or 10.7 (Lion):
- 2 GB of RAM 2 GHZ