Preparing Your Therapy Practice to Stay Ahead of the Curve in the Era of Technology Apps


In the era of new technology of convenience and moving the pendulum faster, how will the therapist now compete?  What is the buy in that we will position and package to our prospects to come to therapy as a primary rather than buying applications to give the therapy their children need?  How will we move parents from buying speech generating applications like Proloquo2Go as a fix without a proper evaluation through an speech-language pathologist?

I recently watched an interview with Charlie Rose with Professor Zeynap Tufekci discussing the Social Impact of Technology and Natural Language Processing.  A key statement that was brought to my attention was the expense parents incur in caring for people with special needs in treatment and how the parents may be moved to replace Artificial Intelligence with jobs that humans actually need to perform to support remediation through therapy.  I remember when Fast ForWord was introduced to me as a graduate student in 1998 at Northwestern University and I gawked at how this could possibly replace therapy.  I see the increase in apps, homeschooling, parent created programs such as SideKicks pulling different levels of parent perceived success in improving skill level.

 I have to ask myself and the therapy community of ABA, SLPs, OTs, and more,

“Where are we in the creation of this new technology?”

While I appreciate the invention of such that creates different levels of success, I also believe that the market is so vast that we could not possibly treat and reach everyone…in short, I believe the market can carry the weight of technology and humans; but then what is the social impact of increased use of technology without the knowledgeable practitioner to teach-perceive-and shift the lesson in language and tools that will increase comprehension and application of the concept.

As I write, I am thinking that the reasons for the increase in technology and parent driven consumerism for autism products may be because of the fact that the therapy progress pendulum didn’t swing fast enough.  Identifiable progress was not seen at the rapid rate.  Costs became prohibitive with no end in sight of the invoice billing.

How then do we frame our programs in such way that the everyday practitioner (YOU, clinician) are seen as a major thought influencer in the world of autism, it’s products, and parent seeking solutions.  How will your programs be positioned to indirectly answer the underlying parent concerns about treatment?  In short, what’s your product, your message, your program?  And there is a way to have these consumer answers packaged with underlying evidenced based practice.  In the era of SnapChat, Instagram, Twitter…what is your program description 40 + characters or under two minutes.

The answer is transparency and visibility.  Transparency in data collection, billing, length of programs.  Visibility is in your face and relational marketing.

In moving forward and successfully joining this era of changing health care insurance reimbursement and the ease of the $4.99 application, sustainability to the therapy practice by humans with specialty in applied behavior analysis, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy will mean that our voices will need to be heard.  Not from a professional advocacy standpoint first, but from the heart to heart message you have with your consumers.

Let’s Thrive Together!

~Landria Seals Green, MA.,CCC-SLP, BCBA

@SLPGURU #TherapyBiz Guru

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