As a child, I went to speech therapy as I had trouble pronouncing words properly. They were in-person sessions, as that was the only option. Today, there are virtual speech therapy lessons, which can be helpful for kids and any other age, as they provide great flexibility. To learn about virtual speech therapy benefits, I interviewed Avivit Ben-Aharon, the Founder and Clinical Director at Great Speech Inc. Our conversation follows.
Disclosure: This sponsored post focuses on how virtual speech therapy can support communication skills to improve quality of life.
Interview with Avivit Ben-Aharon
Communication struggles can lead to anxiety, loneliness, and other emotional responses in people of all ages, especially during the holidays. So, I appreciate your focus on helping those who need it, Avivit.
What are some communication challenges children might have?
A child with a speech and language disorder may have difficulty producing certain sounds (e.g., says “tat” for “cat” or” wain” for “rain”), have trouble understanding what is said or difficulty expressing wants or needs, trouble socializing with peers, stuttering or lisping, or difficulty being understood by others.
How can the holiday season affect these kids?
Children who have communication challenges may find it difficult to engage and connect during holiday gatherings. This can lead them to feel isolated, depressed, anxious, and lonely, particularly during the holiday season, when an inability to communicate stops them from engaging in meaningful relationships.
How can virtual speech therapy help children, especially during the holidays?
Children can benefit from virtual speech therapy with a licensed speech therapist where specific challenges can be identified and addressed. The speech therapist and child can work together from the comfort and privacy of their own home to create a positive relationship and roadmap for growth during the busy holiday season and beyond.
What are some other reasons to attend online speech therapy?
Great Speech provides speech and language therapy solutions for all ages, including those impacted by:
- Speech and language disorders
- Articulation disorders
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Cognitive communication disorder
- Head & neck cancer
- Hearing loss
- Traumatic brain injury
- Voice disorders
- as well as Alzheimer’s & Dementia, Stroke & Aphasia rehabilitation, Parkinson’s disease, and more
Speech therapy can also help patients who are affected by long COVID conditions, such as cognitive impairment, brain fog, or speech and language difficulties, to confidently return to work, handle daily life and resume an active lifestyle.
Avivit Ben-Aharon, can you please tell us a bit about Great Speech?
Great Speech Inc. is the pioneer and recognized leader in virtual speech therapy, and since 2014 has delivered convenient, specialized services to clients anytime, anywhere. Its innovative approach leverages technology to match licensed and experienced speech therapists with children, adults, and seniors who need and want to communicate better with confidence. We are a proud recipient of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) certification.
What inspired you to form this organization?
My family immigrated to the United States when I was 14 years old. While I was fascinated by the fast pace and diversity when I arrived in New York City, I was also totally overwhelmed. I didn’t know how to speak a word of English, and school was starting just days after my arrival.
I was placed into an English as a Second Language class and was absolutely shell-shocked. I couldn’t communicate with the other kids or the teachers because no one understood what I was saying.
New York City doesn’t slow down for anyone, so I had to learn on my own how to communicate. The journey was isolating and frustrating, but it paved the way for my future. I became a speech therapist so I could help other people feel heard and understood.
After working in the field for over a decade, I saw countless situations where people could not access the therapeutic services they needed. Some of the reasons included:
- Challenges with transportation
- Cancellations due to inclement weather
- Busy schedules due to work and family life
- Generalized therapy in school that didn’t address a specialized need
- More recently, a pandemic that called for a mandated quarantine
I noticed that speech therapy was often put on the back burner because the traditional methods of therapy didn’t integrate easily with modern-day lifestyles. I knew there had to be a better way.
I began experimenting with technology to deliver speech therapy entirely online. Not only did it create the convenience I was seeking, but it also allowed us to hire the best therapists in the country because we weren’t geographically limited.
Today, Great Speech continues to offer highly specialized, convenient, and flexible speech therapy to kids, adults, and seniors nationwide.
Are you currently accepting new patients for virtual speech therapy?
Yes, we are accepting new patients. We work with children, teens, adults, and seniors. Due to the online modality of our services, we typically help children as young as 3 years old and up.
What inspires you when you are having a tough day?
When I’m having a tough day, it is helpful to remind myself of the rewarding work we do. We are helping people overcome communication challenges and feel more confident every day.
Thank you for sharing your inspiring story and helping others, Avivit Ben-Aharon!
If you or someone you know is having communication difficulties, reach out to Great Speech Inc. today. They treat a wide variety of speech and language delays and disorders. The virtual speech therapy services include stuttering, language disorders, stroke rehabilitation, and voice therapy.
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Top photo: Avivit Ben-Aharon, Founder & Clinical Director, Great Speech. Photo via Avivit.