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Behavioral Therapy For Autism During COVID-19


 * * * *  Important Information to Help Parents of Kids with Autism During the COVID-19 Crisis * * * *



Continuity of care for children with autism or other developmental disabilities is essential to the success of any ABA-based behavioral therapy program and maintaining a regular therapy schedule is critical.

Because of the current COVID-19 crisis, many parents are struggling to continue their child’s behavioral therapy program. This is happening because some service providers have suspended their center-based or in-home services, and some parents who were receiving in-home services don’t feel comfortable allowing their child’s clinical team members into their home right now. This is creating a huge gap between the need for these essential services and the availability of services.

For parents looking for an immediate solution, Telehealth Services from California Psychcare may be the answer. With telehealth, behavioral therapy can continue without having clinicians in the home. In addition, for families who have lost their in-home services and would like to continue with in-home care, in-home services are also available immediately through California Psychcare. If you are in contact with or are aware of any parent struggling to continue services for their child, we hope you’ll share this important information.

What is ABA-Based Behavioral Therapy?

Applied behavior analysis, or ABA, refers to a variety of behavioral therapy treatment options that are based on the principles of behavior analysis. ABA uses scientifically based techniques for understanding and changing behavior and is the most widely accepted approach to assess and intervene with individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other developmental challenges or delays. This type of therapy is conducted one-on-one, is customized for each person, and is appropriate for individuals of all ages.

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is rapidly growing in the field of ABA-based behavioral therapy and improves access to care for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other developmental disabilities. Telehealth is as simple as using a tablet or computer to connect face-to-face with the ABA service provider, similar to how you may chat with family or friends who may live out-of-town.

Telehealth is especially useful during the COVID-19 crisis because it helps maintain continuity of care for children with autism while maximizing social and physical distancing in the home.

Services Available Via Telehealth

Requesting Telehealth Services

Requesting telehealth services is simple. Parents simply need to email us [email protected] or call us at 833.227.3454 to start the process. Our telehealth specialists are ready to help.

Telehealth for Functional Behavioral Assessments

The Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) is the first step that is taken to begin addressing a child’s challenging behaviors. The assessment can be scheduled upon recommendation of a primary care physician, psychologist or school counselor who believes an FBA is appropriate for the child.

The FBA is conducted by a Clinical Supervisor and involves an in-depth evaluation to understand the child’s behaviors and what may be causing or contributing to them. The FBA is often conducted in the home or in one of our behavioral health treatment centers or this assessment can also be conducted via telehealth.

Telehealth for Supervision

When using telehealth for a supervisory visit, the Behavior Interventionist (BI) visits the home and conducts the behavioral therapy session face-to-face. But rather than attending in person, the Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who is managing the case participates by providing direction from a distant site – video conferencing or teleconferencing into the session using a computer or other mobile device. This approach increases access to the BCBA, maintains treatment goals and outcomes, maintains coordination of care, and expands access to services.

Telehealth for Parent Training | Parent Coaching

Parent training delivered via telehealth offers a flexible format for providing support when parents need it most. Working around the parents’ schedule, clinicians provide strategies and coaching to help parents address the child’s challenging behaviors and skill deficits across various settings and different times. Telehealth parent training is effective in enhancing skills and techniques through live observation and feedback.

Telehealth for Direct Care

When using telehealth for direct care, the Behavior Interventionist (BI) conducts the child’s behavioral therapy sessions from a distant site – video conferencing in to the child’s computer or tablet vs. coming into the home to deliver care face-to-face. The Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) can also join sessions, as needed, to complete supervisory visits and ensure the child’s program is on track.

Telehealth for Social Skills Groups

Telehealth-based social skills groups help individuals function more effectively in social situations and cultivate skills needed to create positive interactions with others. Age-based groups are available for kids, preteens, teens and young adults, and each group provides an opportunity to develop and practice social skills with peers on a regular basis.

Social skills groups via telehealth allow clinicians to precisely match peers according to their skills and interest across 22 California Psychcare locations.

Steps Our Clinicians Take to Determine if Telehealth is Appropriate

Telehealth services are not appropriate for every child or every household. Our clinicians use a variety of assessments to determine if the child can effectively participate in telehealth sessions.

How Does a Telehealth-Based Visit Work?

Our clinicians will set up a telehealth orientation with parents and review the schedule, available services and the structure of sessions based on the child’s individual needs.

Do You Have a Waitlist?

No. Our clinicians are ready to provide services immediately.

Who Pays for Care

We contract with most health plans and regional centers across California. Our Telehealth Department is ready to help parents connect with their healthcare insurance provider or regional center to arrange for funding for services delivered via telehealth.

How Do Parents Request Telehealth Services if They Are Receiving In-Home Services?

Parents should contact their Clinical Supervisor or Program Coordinator to determine eligibility. If the child is eligible, the Supervisor or Coordinator will work with the appropriate funding source to obtain an authorization for telehealth services.

Is Patient Privacy Protected?

We have experience providing telehealth-based behavioral therapy – and the protocols, procedures and technology that are proven effective and that maintain confidentiality and privacy are in place. Ensuring the privacy of our clients is our number one priority.

Services Provided By:

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Apple Valley
El Centro

Laguna Hills
Long Beach
Monterey Park
Palm Desert

San Diego
San Luis Obispo
Santa Barbara
Santa Clarita
Santa Maria

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