Becoming A Speech Teletherapist: Where To Begin
Speech teletherapy is quickly becoming a viable option for many clients and students around the globe. The service delivery model is becoming quite popular in medicine, mental health, and in Speech Language Pathology. And SLPs are paying attention! Weekly, I receive emails with questions, the most popular being, "How do I become a teletherapist?" and "Where do I start?" This blog post will serve to answer some of your most burning questions about how to begin a successful career as a Speech Teletherapist.
When beginning to research teletherapy, the FIRST place I went was ASHA. There, you can find up to date information about efficacy, research and guidelines on licensure. Consider joining Special Interest Group 18. The members of SIG 18 are very knowledgeable, and many of them have provided services via telepractice for years. The threads contain answers to many of the common questions you might ask while considering a career in teletherapy. Click here to view the ASHA Overview on Speech Telepractice.
Another resource I used was Pinterest! Believe it or not, I found several links to to videos of therapy sessions, information about companies that provide teletherapy, AND many blog posts where SLPs described their experiences as telepracticioners. I started Pinterest Boards related to everything teletherapy, so I could compile a nice resource collection to return to as more questions surfaced during research. Feel free to view or follow the Boards I started by clicking here!
Once I learned about teletherapy options, and watched videos of therapy sessions found on Pinterest, I decided to search for Social Media forums and discussion groups. What BETTER way to do research then to follow threads by REAL SLPs, in real time! Currently, are several Facebook Groups dedicated to Speech Teletherapy topics. Here, you will find threads that discuss licensure, technology, caseloads, and information about training and resources. However, just like any other professional group, it's important to remember the unwritten rules of social media etiquette. Below, I've listed some common "Do's and Don'ts" while collaborating with other SLPs via social media about telepractice:
*DO ask about resources that other SLPs use.
*DO ask about training courses and webinars.
*DO ask about licensure requirements in your state.
*DO ask about laws and policies governing telepractice as service model.
*DO ask about teletherapy materials and where to find them.
*DO ask about technology requirements.
*DO ask if there is an SLP that might be willing to answer your questions via phone or email.
*DON'T ask about what companies are "the best". Everyone has their own opinion.
*DON'T ask for a job opportunity.
*DON'T ask where to start (this blog post should help anyway! :-))
*DON'T ask about caseloads, as they vary just like any other setting.
*DON'T ask specific questions about salary or pay.
*DON'T ask other SLPs to train you.
SLPs are always very helpful, but truth be told, teletherapists are JUST as busy as you are. It's important to be specific in the social media questions you ask. If you have personal questions, feel free to ask if someone is available by phone or email! Often, someone is willing. Another note: often, in the "files" sections of each Facebook Group, there are AMAZING pdf resources FILLED with answers to your burning questions. Make sure you check out what is available if you join. Check here to get started if you already have a Facebook Account!
Once you have complied your research and watched some videos, you may still be wondering if making the jump is "right" for you. If you continue to be curious, click here to take my Teletherapy Quiz! Results may indicate that you ABSOLUTELY have what it takes to become a successful speech teletherapist.
Looking for MORE information on teletherapy as an SLP? Head on over to my BLOG page! There you will find several additional blog posts on Speech Teletherapy to help guide you on your search.
Good luck on your new adventure! Beginning something new can prove to be rewarding and refreshing, especially when feeling burnt out and stressed. I have found Speech Teletherapy to be the perfect answer to problems I faced as a school based SLP. And, while providing remote services isn't for everyone, it may provide an option for those who are looking for flexibility in this wonderful career we have chosen!
Want to hear from the EXPERTS and other SLPs who have created a career in telepractice? Check out my latest PODCASTS! I've interviewed some amazing people who work in the field, and asked them your most burning questions.
And don't forget to sign up for my newsletter to receive monthly news about teletherapy, NO PRINT products, and blog posts that I love!