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What You Need to Know About ABA and Telehealth

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, people around the globe have had to make some huge—not to mention rapid—adjustments to the way we live our daily lives. This is difficult enough for anyone during this uncertain time, but for people living with autism and their families, these disruptions to routines can feel downright devastating.

Here at Intercare, we’re proud to be able to offer telehealth services to our clients, which allows uninterrupted care, even in an otherwise very interrupted world. But what is telehealth, exactly and how does it work with Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy? Here’s what you need to know.

What is ABA therapy?
ABA is an evidence-based approach, which is derived from standardized assessments, but allows therapists to utilize individualized treatment plans. ABA plans use established milestones of typical development to determine a client’s treatment goals by decreasing challenging behaviors and teaching new skills to increase desired behavior.

Specifically, ABA at Intercare targets the following domains:
Challenging Behavior
Socialization
Communication
Independent Living Skills
Community Integrations

What is telehealth?
According to the Health Resources Services Administration, telehealth is defined as “the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration. Technologies include videoconferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications.”

In other words, telehealth refers to any kind of healthcare that’s administered remotely via technology.

How does ABA work through telehealth?
When administering ABA via telehealth, clients and therapists connect via “real-time telehealth” methods (also known as synchronous telemedicine), meaning that the therapist and client are communicating and interacting in real time, via audio or video communication. Beyond that, the ABA work and sessions will play out very similarly to the way they would in a traditional, face-to-face session and will vary depending on the needs of the specific client.

What are the advantages of ABA through telehealth?
During the coronavirus-related shutdowns, telehealth might be the only viable option for many patients and families, but these services have benefits and applications well beyond times of crisis and social distancing.

Some of the ongoing advantages of telehealth include accessibility and flexibility, which make it a fantastic option for clients living in more remote areas, for whom the commute to a traditional office appointment might be inconvenient, or for families juggling busy schedules who are looking for ways to streamline a complicated weekly schedule.

What is the cost of telehealth ABA therapy?
The cost of participating in ABA programs via telehealth is usually the same as it would be for more traditional, face-to-face services. Most funding sources have approved telehealth services and Intercare’s staff has trained extensively to provide increased remote care. For more information about Intercare’s telehealth services, call 888-428-3223.

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