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  • Writer's pictureStacy Crouse

An SLP's Journey Into Teletherapy

In 2014, an SLP co-worker casually mentioned the word "teletherapy" when sharing about speech therapy settings she had worked in. I believe I responded with, “Wait. What?” I had never heard the word teletherapy. I was intrigued and wanted to know more.

After hounding her with 94 questions about teletherapy, I went home and began researching. Back then, there wasn't a lot of information available, but I found a couple of websites for teletherapy companies... and I applied.

As a speech-language pathologist, I had never considered the possibility of working from home. But the thought was very appealing to me for multiple reasons.

At the time, I was working 4 longer days in an outpatient clinic. Being off on Fridays, I saw an opportunity to try teletherapy without needing to change my current work schedule. Additionally, my oldest child was an infant and I thought some part-time work could help cover our new expense–daycare (if you know, you know 😜).

I applied and interviewed with a couple of teletherapy companies. I accepted a job with one of them as a contractor for the following school year.

Over the summer, I completed the company-provided training. When school started in the fall, I was assigned 8 or 10 students to see on Fridays.

An SLP sitting at a laptop and wearing a headset for a teletherapy session

To be honest, teletherapy felt a little weird at first. But I quickly fell in love with providing therapy in this setting. Using technology in speech therapy was something I had always enjoyed. Plus, I loved helping students from the comfort of my own home.

Over the next three years, I gradually decreased the number of days working in the clinic and increased my availability for teletherapy. In the spring of 2017, I had my second child and it became very clear. Full-time teletherapy was the right choice for me.

With two kids of my own (one of which was approaching school-age), I valued job flexibility more than ever. While it was difficult to say goodbye to my clients and the clinic where I worked for nearly a decade, I knew that teletherapy was the right fit for me personally.

The pros of teletherapy were (and still are) priceless. It was important to me to have holiday and summer breaks with my kids. I didn't want to get home at 5:30 or 6:00 every night. Making my own schedule gave me the flexibility to take my kids to appointments and be at their daytime school events. I used short breaks to keep up with laundry and dinner prep.

An SLP working from home as a teletherapist

Professionally, I had found a new skillset and area of interest in the field of speech pathology. Connecting with students and their families all over the country has broadened my horizons. Working with SLPs outside my region has also opened my eyes to new ideas, thoughts, and resources.

Additionally, I have been able to embrace technology. I have met the challenges of working with a range of K-12 students and pushed myself to find creative and unique ways to meet their needs. I even taught myself to make digital therapy materials and share them with others, which I find very fulfilling.

A student doing a digital articulation activity on a laptop during a teletherapy session

What first seemed like a crazy concept (doing speech therapy over the internet 🤯) has become a passion. While it may not be right for everyone, teletherapy has undoubtedly made me a better person, mom, and SLP.

Originally published on 10/09/2019. Updated 2/15/24.

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