|Author(s)||Stuart Ekberg, Susan Danby, Maryanne Theobald, Belinda Fisher, Peta Wyeth|
|Title||Using physical objects with young children in ‘face-to-face’ and telehealth speech and language therapy|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Telehealth, videoconferencing, paediatric speech and language therapy, play-based therapy, Needs add info, Medical EMCA|
|Journal||Disability and Rehabilitation|
Purpose: Speech language therapists increasingly are using telehealth to enhance the accessibility of their services. It is unclear, however, how play-based therapy for children can be delivered via telehealth. In particular, modalities such as videoconferencing do not enable physical engagement between therapists and clients. The aim of our reported study was to understand how physical objects such as toys are used in similar and different ways across videoconferenced and “face-to-face” (hereafter, “in-person”) therapy.
Methods: We used conversation analytic methods to compare video-recorded therapy sessions for children delivered across in-person and telehealth settings. Utilising a broader corpus of materials, our analysis focused on four client–therapist dyads: two using videoconferencing, and two who met in-person.
Results: Both videoconferencing and in-person sessions enabled routine affordances and challenges for delivering therapy. Within in-person therapy, therapists made access to objects contingent upon the client producing some target expression. This contingency usually was achieved by restricting physical access to these objects. Restricting access to a toy was not necessary in videoconferenced therapy; therapists instead used techniques to promote engagement.
Conclusions: When delivering play-based therapy via telehealth, our study demonstrates how practitioners adapt the intervention to suit the particular medium of its delivery.