In the past, if you wanted to work with a speech therapist it would be a case of waiting as long as it took to get an appointment through your local healthcare provider or paying to be seen privately. Either way, this would usually result in an assessment and then regular face to face appointments to work on the various techniques required.
Either that or you’d find yourself trawling the internet for individual exercises that might work for you. Of course, it’s possible to make progress in this way, but without expert direction it’s unlikely you’ll see a profound change in the condition you’re seeking to improve.
Now, thanks to the introduction of new technologies, developed by specialists, as well as the confidence of people in embracing these, we’ve seen a huge increase in patients getting great results quickly from the comfort of their own home.
Why not face to face?
Despite current concerns about getting out and about to visit outpatients’ clinics in hospitals, COVID-19 doesn’t seem to be the only reason we’re seeing online therapy increase in popularity. Difficulties accessing therapists locally, as well as lengthy waiting lists, have long been a problem; one that has been compounded throughout recent lockdowns. And of course, paying to see a therapist privately can be prohibitively expensive for many people.
And it may not even be about access or money. Simply taking time out of our busy lives to make and commute to appointments and even to remember to practise in between can be hard, particularly with everything else that’s going on at the moment.
‘The speech therapist in your pocket’
The good news is the latest tranche of speech therapy apps have made it entirely possible to benefit from speech therapy wherever you happen to be. And whenever you happen to have time.
Easily downloadable on a smart phone or iPad, you can literally take your therapist with you and practise whenever you have a spare pocket of time. From voice warm-up apps that strengthen the voice and prevent vocal damage in those who use their voice a lot at work (think teachers, call centre workers, presenters and performers). To the empowering Christella Voice Up – everything you’ll need to help transition your voice from masculine to feminine in the privacy and safety of your own surroundings.
Even if you are attending in-person appointments too, it’s worth talking to your therapist about supplementing your treatment with apps for support and practise outside of your sessions together.
Getting the best out of speech therapy apps
Of course, as with any new tech there is a learning curve involved as you become accustomed to using the software in the best way. But it shouldn’t be too complicated - most new apps are extremely user friendly and intuitive. Our Speechtools apps are designed to be as easy to use as possible from the first time you see them, offering prompts and guidance to take you through the whole process. We even offer libraries of information and free support should you have any questions.
Even better, if you are using the apps alongside treatment with a speech therapist in real life make sure you share your results as it offers them (and you!) a great measure of just how far you’ve come.
While apps may not replace working with speech therapists entirely, they still have plenty of applications in the home environment. Used alongside face to face therapy as a practice prompt, as a tool to tackle a specific challenge, or as a method of warming up your voice before a critical meeting, it is possible to achieve some great outcomes.
Why not Download our 1 Minute Voice Warmup app and learn to use your voice in different ways? Add more variation or projection to your voice or practice releasing neck or throat tension.