Language Impairments and Telepractice

A large portion of an SLP’s job is to work on language learning. We often look at language in three ways. “Content” refers to language meaning and includes things like understanding language concepts, vocabulary, and the different nuances or multiple meanings that words can have. “Form” speaks to the rules we use to put words and sentences together, like the differences between “cat/cats, go/went, he/him/his”, or “I can go,” and “Can I go?” Finally, “Use” addresses the social rules we follow to make a message understood, like supplying enough background information, organizing the message in an understandable way, using and interpreting body language and tone of voice.

Telepractice holds great potential for language services. Many of the activities that a face-to-face therapist would use can easily be adapted for telepractice. Likewise, the digital world is full of high-interest language learning activities that are sometimes simpler to access in an online interaction than they are in-person. Three consistent advantages of home-based telepractice services are the ability to draw on language that is used in the child’s home environment, to generalize learning in a variety of settings, and to include family members in the learning process.