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      Transitioning ABA Services From in Clinic to Telehealth: Case Study of an Indian Organization’s Response to COVID-19 Lockdown

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          Abstract

          Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, around the middle of March 2020, in-clinic intervention services based in applied behavior analysis provided to children had to be stopped abruptly in India. This qualitative and quantitative case study details how Behavior Momentum India (BMI), an organisation providing ABA-based interventions, transitioned services from in clinic to telehealth while continuing to target each student’s skill acquisition goals in language and communication domains. A cohort of 92 students diagnosed with autism or other learning disabilities participated in this study; 51 therapists, 9 behavior supervisors, and a doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst collaborated with parents; 78% of the students and 82% of the therapists used smartphones; and only a few used iPads and laptops. Therapists conducted direct sessions and parent-mediated sessions with 82 students. With 10 students, behavior supervisors trained parents to implement interventions with their children. The critical transition decisions, logistics, and ethical challenges were identified using qualitative methods. Despite significantly reduced session durations, all students continued to acquire targeted skills, and 52% of the students acquired more skills in telehealth compared to in clinic. A parent satisfaction survey returned high ratings onour organization’s initiative, and 72% of the parents reported that their familiarity and confidence with the science of applied behavior analysis had increased.

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          Telehealth and Autism: Treating Challenging Behavior at Lower Cost.

          To determine whether challenging behavior in young children with autism and other developmental disabilities can be treated successfully at lower cost by using telehealth to train parents to implement applied behavior analysis (ABA).
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            Reducing behavior problems through functional communication training.

            It is generally agreed that serious misbehavior in children should be replaced with socially appropriate behaviors, but few guidelines exist with respect to choosing replacement behaviors. We address this issue in two experiments. In Experiment 1, we developed an assessment method for identifying situations in which behavior problems, including aggression, tantrums, and self-injury, were most likely to occur. Results demonstrated that both low level of adult attention and high level of task difficulty were discriminative for misbehavior. In Experiment 2, the assessment data were used to select replacements for misbehavior. Specifically, children were taught to solicit attention or assistance or both verbally from adults. This treatment, which involved the differential reinforcement of functional communication, produced replicable suppression of behavior problems across four developmentally disabled children. The results were consistent with an hypothesis stating that some child behavior problems may be viewed as a nonverbal means of communication. According to this hypothesis, behavior problems and verbal communicative acts, though differing in form, may be equivalent in function. Therefore, strengthening the latter should weaken the former.
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              Is Open Access

              Training Individuals to Implement Applied Behavior Analytic Procedures via Telehealth: A Systematic Review of the Literature

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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                smita.awasthi@behaviormomentum.com
                Journal
                Behav Anal Pract
                Behav Anal Pract
                Behavior Analysis in Practice
                Springer International Publishing (Cham )
                1998-1929
                2196-8934
                11 August 2021
                : 1-20
                Affiliations
                Behavior Momentum India, 407, 7th Main, 80 ft. Road, HRBR Layout, Bangalore, 560043 India
                Author information
                http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9894-498X
                Article
                600
                10.1007/s40617-021-00600-9
                8356690
                34394851
                a36d606c-b118-4fda-a976-2edfc0448fd2
                © Association for Behavior Analysis International 2021

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted research re-use and secondary analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

                History
                : 19 April 2021
                Categories
                Research Article

                autism,covid-19,aba,telehealth,behavioral skills training,parent training

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