The Importance of Teletherapy in ABA

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Most people would agree, that one-day telehealth would be a more accepted modality for ABA services but we weren’t prepared for what happened in March 2020 as COVID-19 Pandemic prevented many services from being done in person, which is why we needed to learn how to implement telehealth services FAST!

What is teletherapy exactly ?

Teletherapy uses technology like video calls or messaging to provide therapy. Individuals can receive therapy from professionals without needing in-person sessions,enhancing accessibility regardless of geographical location or mobility constraints. The convenience and effectiveness of this approach have made it popular especially in recent years.

Is ABA teletherapy effective?

ABA teletherapy works well for many behavior issues, often just as good as meeting face to face. While face-to-face sessions allow the therapist and person to interact directly, ABA teletherapy lets people get help from afar.

 Many studies show that ABA teletherapy can help learn new skills, lower bad behavior, and make overall betterment in people with developmental issues like autism. But, how well ABA teletherapy works can depend on how the person takes to learning online, how strong the bond is between the therapist and the person, and how much the caregiver helps out.

 In the end, choosing between ABA teletherapy and meeting in person depends on what suits the person getting help the best.

Benefits of ABA teletherapy

 ABA teletherapy is all about making therapy work for you, especially if you're dealing with developmental disabilities. Here's how it gets the job done:

First off, forget about geography, ABA teletherapy lets you access therapy from anywhere. Whether you're in the city or at home, as long as you've got internet, you're good to go.

Then there's the scheduling, talk about flexibility! With teletherapy, you can fit sessions into your life without worrying about travel or time constraints.

And let's not underestimate the power of home sweet home. Being in your own space during therapy can really help you relax as an ABA specialist, where you can feel relaxed and stress free making sure you do your job comfortably, also for the individual as they can feel safe and open up especially with parents around. It's like therapy with aside of comfy vibes!

With ABA teletherapy consistency is key, it's easier than ever to stick to a regular session schedule. That means you can keep making progress without missing a beat. But here's the cool part, teletherapy isn't just for you. Parents and caregivers can get in on the action too, learning strategies and supporting you every step of the way.

Let's not forget about the money side of things. ABA teletherapy can be a real money saver, with potentially lower session fees and no travel expenses to worry about.

 Last but not least,teletherapy opens up a whole world of specialized services and expertise that might not be available locally. So even if you're in a remote area, you can still get top-notch therapy support.

How is ABA teletherapy conducted ?

ABA teletherapy is conducted in simple andeffective steps that ensures seamless progress and engagement with theindividual.

Starting Off with an Evaluation:

The process kicks off when a behavior analyst (BCBA) or a therapist evaluates the individual to figure out what they need, their strengths, and what areas they can improve on. This might include looking over past reports, talking with those who take care of them,and watching how they behave through video calls.

 

Creating a Customized Treatment Plan:

After gathering all the necessary information, the BCBA or therapist comes up with a treatment plan that's specifically designed for the individual's goals and requirements. This plan might focus on helping them learn new skills (like speaking or getting along with others) and reducing behaviors that are a problem (like temper tantrums or hurting themselves).

 

Organizing Meetings:

Teletherapy meetings are planned for times that work for both the individual and the behavior analyst.Typically, those who take care of the individual help get everything ready for these meetings, making sure the internet connection is good and that they know how to use the video call platform.

 

Running Sessions:

In these meetings, the BCBA or therapist talks and works with the individual and their caregivers through video call. They may use different methods like prompts, shaping, and rewards to teach new skills and change behaviors. The BCBA gives immediate advice and guidance to caregivers on how to manage behaviors more effectively.

 

Keeping Track of Progress:

Information about the individual's behaviors and how well they're moving towards their treatment goals is collected both during and between teletherapy meetings. This information helps the BCBA make informed decisions about the treatment and modify the plan if necessary.

 

Teaching Parents/Caregivers:

Teletherapy often also teaches parents or caregivers how they can help with the individual's progress when therapy sessions aren't happening. This includes coaching them on how to use behavior management techniques correctly and reliably at home.

 

Working Together and Keeping in Touch:

For ABA teletherapy to work well, it's really important for the BCBA or therapist and the caregivers to stay in touch. Regular updates, sharing how things are going, and discussions about any concerns or questions help keep everyone on the same page and ensures the therapy continues smoothly.

Telehealth resources

As a behavior analyst who has donetelehealth sessions since 2007 with families in Japan, and had years ofnavigating online meeting technology by working with teams remotely for over 10years, I knew I could offer some help to those having to navigate thetechnology and logistics of engaging parents and children through videoconferencing.

These videos were released in early April 2020 with a downloadable toolkit. The videos received thousands of views within the first few days. The first video is a demonstration of what a teletherapy session could look like with two different kids.

The second video is a walkthrough tutorial on how to navigate the Zoom teleconferencing technology and how to use different tools such as PowerPoint to create interactive token boards and Boom Cards to create interactive skill acquisition programs.

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