Updated: Oct 22, 2020
Are you a Speech Language Pathologist/Speech & Language Therapist who is new to tele-therapy? Are you wondering how to deliver good quality speech therapy to clients with aphasia via Zoom or another video-conferencing platform?
Well the really good news is that tele-therapy with an adult client isn't all that different to a face-to-face session. In this blog post, I will discuss 9 speech therapy activities and explain how you can do them via tele-therapy. I'll be referring to Zoom but other platforms also have similar features.
Supported Conversation Strategies for Aphasia via Tele-Therapy
1) Written Choice Communication
Written choice communication is a useful strategy for many people with aphasia, particularly when their ability to read single words is relatively preserved. In a face-to-face session I would use a dry-erase board. In a tele-therapy session via Zoom, I share the whiteboard and write or type on it. Who needs paper or a board when you can use the Zoom whiteboard?
2) Sharing Photos
I always encourage clients with aphasia (especially severe expressive aphasia) to take photos of their activities. Doing so can be a wonderful way to support their communication. One of my clients loves to tell me about the cakes and desserts she has made.
Photos could be emailed to you prior to a tele-therapy session and then shared via Zoom by screen sharing your desktop.
Word-Finding & Comprehension Therapy for Aphasia via Tele-Therapy
When working on naming and comprehension in aphasia, many therapists use apps in face-to-face sessions. You can still use apps via tele-therapy by sharing your iPad screen.
Let's take the Naming Toolbox app as an example. Choose Share Screen iPhone/iPad via Airplay in Zoom (on your laptop or PC). You'll need to turn on Screen Mirroring on your iPad. Then open the app on your iPad.The other person will then be able to see the app on their screen.
3) Guess the Word
Go to the Guess activity in Naming Toolbox. When you go through the different clues at the bottom of the Guess the Word activity, the other person will see and hear the written sentences. They don't need to touch anything! All they have to do is try to name the word in exactly the same way as they would in a face-to-face session. Press the Reveal button so that they can find out if they guessed correctly.
4) Describe the Word
The Describe activity in Naming Toolbox has in-built semantic feature analysis (SFA) cues. Read the cues aloud for the client e.g. What do you do with it?, Where do you find it? etc.
Support them to talk around the word as you would do if you were face-to-face. They'll be able to see each item if you screen share the app and they won't need to touch anything.