Indirect therapy

The indirect speech and language therapy is any form of therapy that is not directly delivered to the child or individual with speech and language difficulty. Pointless? Well, indirect therapy is a method of therapy that is extremely useful in itself. Indirect therapy can be delivered by parents, assistants, carers, teachers, other professionals or anyone that is a regular communicator with the child with speech and language difficulties.

Indirect therapy can provide those around the child with the skillset to help them develop their speech and language without the direct input of the speech and language therapist. Indirect therapy has many benefits, including:

  • The child will receive input in all of their communicative environments.
  • Parents and teachers are able to provide a language-rich environment for the child.
  • Increased confidence in those communicating with individuals with speech and language difficulties.

Simply put, the speech and language therapist will train others, so that they are highly competent in supporting the child’s speech and language needs, without the need for the therapist to directly work with the child.

Studies have looked into the outcomes of indirect therapy vs. direct therapy. Results have shown that the effectiveness of indirect therapy, delivered by a well-trained assistant, teacher or parent, is comparable to specialist direct therapy delivered by a speech and language therapist.

However, direct therapy is still important and should not be forgotten or replaced by indirect therapy. Direct therapy is extremely beneficial to those children that need specialist input as not every speech, language and communication difficulty can be improved by indirect input alone. Indirect input provided without direct support is most beneficial to those children that will benefit from general support in everyday life and do not require specialist support for language or speech disorders.

The indirect speech and language therapy is most effective when direct therapy is being delivered alongside it. The child will then receive all types of input possible to help their speech, language or communication difficulty.

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