Children diagnosed with ASD may continue to receive critical ABA therapy remotely during COVID-19 pandemic.
FITCHBURG, WORCESTER AND SPRINGFIELD, MA… LEARN Behavioral, the leading network of providers serving children with autism and other special needs, announces the availability of telehealth Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services to children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and their families in Massachusetts through their regional provider Behavioral Concepts Innovation (BCI).
To continue providing critical ABA services to client families during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, BCI has innovated their service delivery model and capabilities to provide telehealth ABA services, or “teleABA” as coined by LEARN.
TeleABA provides another option for families who prefer virtual therapy services over in-person therapy, or who have household family members who are at higher risk for severe illness. It is ABA therapy overseen by a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) that parallels in-person treatment.
“The COVID-19 response requiring nationwide social distancing and other safety guidelines
has left many parents of children on the autism spectrum wondering how to maintain the gains their children have made in ABA therapy,” explained Hanna Rue, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Vice President of Clinical Development for LEARN. “BCI and LEARN are helping parents throughout Massachusetts by providing the option of teleABA therapy which helps ensure that their children are able to continue their forward momentum towards established treatment goals.”
Treatment for ASD is in accordance with state and federal emergency guidance regarding medically necessary telehealth services. It is imperative that children with ASD avoid any break in ABA therapy as this may cause distress, disruption and potential behavior regression. TeleABA is the delivery of evidence-based ABA therapy with master level clinicians via HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing, which is accessible by computer, tablet or smartphone.
BCI’s teleABA services include direct treatment and parent consultation. Direct treatment is one-on-one treatment sessions with a child geared towards maintaining and generalizing communication, play skills and behavioral progress. Parent consultation provides an opportunity to discuss daily routines and challenging behaviors, identify targets, and implement a plan.
TeleABA enables families to continue to build upon and reinforce skills including, but not limited to:
– Potty training
– Bedtime/sleep routine
– Screen time
– Personal hygiene routine, including hand-washing
Through teleABA, BCI helps children and families in a number of ways. For example: discussing strategies and progress on a desired goal; developing a routine that fits in to your family’s schedule; providing individual reinforcement strategies; setting and explaining clear expectations; and offering “in the moment” parent coaching along with references to help successfully reach your child’s goal.
One innovative program being launched through teleABA is Parent Webinars. With COVID-19 changing day-to-day lives, new challenges are presenting and old ones are resurfacing. Parent Webinars, offered on a weekly basis, enable families facing similar challenges to join in virtual presentations to share solutions and helpful info.
The Parent Webinars are led by Ashley Williams, Clinical Director for ABACS and Advances in the LEARN provider network in the Greater Boston area. Each webinar is guided by a BCBA and will include clinical tips, strategies, and suggestions to help parents in these challenging times.
Dr. Rue continued, “We have received a tremendous response from our families, who are experiencing new successes due to our virtual teleABA services. It is our hope that teleABA treatment will continue to be accepted by insurers beyond COVID-19, as this will enable us to serve a greater number of children and families on the autism spectrum who need services but have limited in-person access to ABA providers.”
Currently, BCI has more than 300 BCBAs providing teleABA throughout Massachusetts and in total, LEARN has served over 2,500 families through teleABA, with nearly 1,000 trained providers across the nation who have delivered sessions. LEARN is dedicated to supporting their staff and has developed a comprehensive resource library which enables them to access tools, resources, training and support online.
For more information about BCI’s teleABA services, visit https://bciaba.com