The internet is now an integral part of our everyday lives. We take it for granted that if we want answers we will get them online. But virtual speech and language therapy as a form of service delivery? Could that help ensure children with communication difficulties get the right help at the right time?
Speech and language therapists Rosy Bostock and Suki Ahsam clearly believe this is possible. They have launched SpeechQuest, a web-based venture aimed at giving parents, carers and early years practitioners a new level of access to assessment and advice.
As their website explains, the SpeechQuest user selects and completes a short online multiple choice questionnaire, then receives an immediate summary of results along with activity ideas and any recommendations for referral. The user can return to the online questionnaires at regular intervals to check on progress, with new activities provided according to the age and stage of the child suggested by their responses.
SpeechQuest is aimed at carers of children from 3 months to 5 years and costs £19.95 per child. The developers believe that it "complements existing NHS and Independent Sector services, empowering parents and practitioners to get involved in supporting the child without delay." A free month's trial is currently available. I will be interested to hear what readers think.
SpeechQuest will also be reviewed in a future issue of Speech & Language Therapy in Practice.