Children who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Western NL are eligible to receive early intervention services through an Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) Intervention process. Traditionally, these services have been provided by face-to-face format. This modality has many access limitations for children, families, home therapists, caregivers, child management specialists, and other healthcare providers. To increase access, Telehealth has been introduced at three phases of the process: 1. to facilitate delivery of the three day ABA training; 2. to provide mentorship and support for the Child Management Specialists; and, 3.to provide support and follow up to the family and home therapist in the child’s home.
There is limited evidence related to the use of Telehealth for Intervention Services or the ABA program. This project aims to increase access for children and families while at the same time provide evidence related to this to service delivery model. Funding from an NL-SUPPORT Patient Oriented Research Grant supported the implementation and evaluation of this project. Clients of the ABA project were involved in the design, implementation and evaluation of this new mode of service delivery. As well, the regional Autism Society of Western NL was engaged in this project.
Results of the study component of this project indicate that Telehealth is a viable method for delivery of the three main components of the ABA program. This research has demonstrated a positive change and increased efficiencies for the clients and providers involved in all three phases of the project.