Technological advancements have made remote ABA services a viable alternative to in-person services. Telehealth can connect health professionals, like ABA therapists, to patients in different geographical areas, or provide services to those that are unable to access face-to-face services. For individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Telehealth becomes especially important to ensure services are continued and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) plans continue with limited disruption. This technology can be a valuable way to increase access to behavior analytic services and to maximize the services provided to ABA therapy consumers.
What Is Telehealth?
Specifically, telehealth is a technology that allows experts in a specific field to provide real time training, consultation, and delivery of services in remote areas (see review in Boisvert, Lang, Andrianopoulos, & Boscardin, 2010; Dudding, 2009). Telehealth has been used for over 30 years, and has been successfully adopted by many fields (e.g., dermatology, psychiatry, and surgery). Applied behavior analysts started to evaluate the use of telehealth less than ten years ago, and the results are promising, suggesting that telehealth is effective, cost-effective, and acceptable by the consumers (see Boisvert et al., 2010 for a review).
How To Access ABA Therapy Telehealth Services
The Trumpet team is taking numerous steps to continue providing medical services to our families while mitigating the spread of the Coronavirus. We continue to monitor the situation and follow both state and federal health and safety guidelines, and evaluate our services on a location basis. During this time, we encourage you to:
- Reach out to your clinician or director to discuss alternate treatment options, including telehealth and in-home ABA options.
- Let your clinician or director know of any scheduling issues you’re having – we’re more than happy to modify schedules to best meet your needs and keep the continuity of care.
- Check out our Bite-Sized Behavior Analysis series to learn how to make most of every teachable moment.
- Follow Trumpet on Facebook or Instagram to find more tips for parents, families, and caregivers.
- Closely monitor your family’s health – if you identify any symptoms of Coronavirus, please reach out and cancel your scheduled sessions or ask about telehealth options.
READ MORE: Is Home ABA Therapy Right for You?
Advantages of Telehealth ABA Services
Telehealth has many advantages, including its accessibility and flexibility. Such characteristics make possible for services to be provided across the country and, perhaps, the world. Telehealth becomes more feasible as access to technology expands among the population. This holds especially true today as over 70% of the United States population reported owning a computer and having internet access (U.S. Census Bureau, 2011).
On top of its accessibility, telehealth is flexible, which allows experts to provide training, consultation, or delivery of services from any location where internet and two electronic devices (e.g., tablet, computer) are available. For example, the expert may be located at his office and provide services through a laptop computer that is connected to a tablet (or another computer) located at the client’s home. Then, the expert can observe and communicate with the therapist, client, or client’s guardians via the devices’ built-in webcams and microphones.
All in all, flexibility and accessibility of telehealth can make services available to clients who live in remote areas while increasing the amount of individuals with ASD receiving high quality services.
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Boisvert, M., Lang, R., Andrianopoulos, M., & Boscardin, M. L. (2010). Telepractice in the assessment and treatment of individuals with autism spectrum disorders: A systematic review. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 13, 423-432.
Dudding, C. C. (2009). Digital videoconferencing: Applications across the disciplines. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 30, 178-182.