Top Tips for Speech Teletherapists

All-time Best Speech Therapy Tips

We talk about teletherapy a lot here at The Digital SLP. Over the years, we have built up a collection of some amazing tips for speech teletherapists, including a few tips that come up over and over again. These include focusing on mastering whatever technology you’re using, and prioritizing rapport-building with students and families.
Ultimately, we believe that digital resources are here to stay, and we love to support SLPs in feeling confident about using them

Top Must-Have Resources and Materials for Speech Teletherapists

When you’re getting started as a speech teletherapist, you may want to continue to use some of your favorite familiar materials. You can scan your favorite flashcards and worksheets and use a document camera to share materials like blocks, games, and books. 

As you get more comfortable with teletherapy, you might be interested in building up your library of digital materials. One tip is to really investigate the wide variety of options available for speech teletherapists, including online gamesmemberships like The Digital SLP,  and Boom Cards. Some types of materials may work better for your unique context than others, so definitely don’t be afraid to explore!
If you’d like to dive into even more possibilities for resources and materials, please check out our blog post covering 13 Must-Have Teletherapy Activities, as well as the following additional podcast episodes:

Top Equipment Tips for Speech Teletherapists

One tip to remember when it comes to tech equipment for speech teletherapists is that it’s all about balance. To be as effective as possible, you may want to go beyond the bare minimum, but it isn’t necessary to run out and upgrade everything all at once. The basic requirements include:

  • computer that can handle videoconferencing
  • A strong Internet connection
  • A way for your students to see and hear you 
 Specialty items that can really support your effectiveness as a speech teletherapist include:
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • A second monitor
  • Improved lighting
  • A standing desk

Useful Google Tips for Speech Teletherapists

One excellent tip for speech teletherapists is to use tools that already feel familiar, especially when it comes to technology. Many of us use Google tools daily in our non-work lives, so why not use them in teletherapy as well?

Three fun ways to incorporate Google as a speech teletherapist include Google ClassroomChrome Extensions, and of course, utilizing Google’s search functions, including image search. 

Self-Care Tips for Speech Teletherapists

When it comes to self-care, life as a speech teletherapist offers benefits and challenges. One important self-care tip for speech teletherapists is to implement boundaries. Working from home is amazing, but it sometimes means that your work life and personal life collide. Some healthy separation between them can be very supportive, even if that just means truly shutting down your computer at the end of the work day. 

Another top tip for speech teletherapists is to be aware of the toll that teletherapy can take on the body – all that desk time can definitely lead to achiness and fatigue. Even taking five minutes to stretch after lunch can make a difference.
It’s not all bad news! In some cases, technology can actually help us minimize stress by saving space and time.

Tips for Speech Teletherapists Working With Specific Populations

Teletherapy can be an appropriate model for working with almost any student. However, there are some specific tips to consider when working with particular populations. 

Perhaps one of the most challenging scenarios for speech teletherapists is effectively supporting AAC users. In these situations, it’s important that you are able to show the student’s communication application on your screen for modeling. The best method for doing this will depend on your teletherapy platform, but it usually involves either mirroring your iPad or sharing your computer screen. You’ll also want to be sure that the student has a trained support person with them on the other side of the screen. 
For additional tips related to working with specific populations, please check out our blog posts that cover apraxia of speecharticulation, and early intervention

Tips to Master Technology for Speech Teletherapists

The vast array of technology options available to speech teletherapists can quickly get overwhelming. If you want to feel more confident in your technology skills, one of our favorite tips is to focus on mastering your teletherapy platform. Zoom is one of the most common platforms, but if you are using a different platform, YouTube is a great resource to find tutorials for the technology that is most relevant for you. 
In terms of technology that you share with students, please check out this episode on video clips and how to use them to target almost any skill, including vocabulary, wh-questions, fluency, story retell, sequencing, and inferencing. 

What NOT to do: Tips for Speech Teletherapists

Generally, we focus on tips for what TO do as a speech teletherapist. However, every so often it can also be useful to talk about how NOT to use technology, which we covered in this episode.
Most importantly, we want to avoid using technology that doesn’t have an underlying therapeutic purpose. Technology can be an incredible resource, but the critical component of our sessions is still the interaction between us and our students, and technology will never replace that. 
We also want to be cautious about using technology with very young children. At times it can still have a place in our sessions, but with our early intervention kids in particular, it’s ideal to limit screen time if possible. 

Tips for Thriving as a New Speech Teletherapist

Making the switch to teletherapy can be incredibly positive and empowering, and it also brings a steep learning curve. If you’re an overwhelmed new teletherapist, it’s so important to remember that you still have all of your wonderful SLP skills!  You might be using them in a new way, and the technology might feel like a lot to learn, but you’re still an excellent SLP. 
For more ideas to boost your confidence as a teletherapist, please check out our podcast episodes that cover Teletherapy 101 and getting started with telepractice.

Privacy and Safety Tips for Speech Teletherapists

While working as a speech teletherapist brings many benefits, it also includes some challenges, especially when it comes to protecting your privacy and that of your students. 
One crucial tip for speech teletherapists to remember is that any document or website that is open on your computer during a session has the potential to become part of your session. When we’re thinking about eight things at once and sharing our screen with a student, it’s so easy to click the wrong tab and accidentally show the tax documents that we were filling out before work. 
The same is true for anything in our environment that clients could see, including photos of our children, the books on our shelves, and the papers on our desks. Teletherapy provides a powerful opportunity to share our lives with our students, but we do need to be cautious and purposeful about what we share. 

Tips to Help Speech Teletherapists Save Time

Ultimately, one of the most exciting aspects of being a speech teletherapist is the potential for saving time. We no longer have to drive from school to school or home to home, or spend hours organizing piles of materials. 
Beyond these immediate time-savers, we can also use various tools mentioned in this podcast episode as digital time-savers in teletherapy.
Of course, one of our very favorite time-saving tips is to use a membership site for your materials. This allows you to log in and find everything you need for therapy all in one place! Please check out this podcast episode for all the details about The Digital SLP membership, and please feel free to sign up for a free 7-day trial at 
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