Telehealth Services at BPI
Allie Sheehan, BCBA
BPI is incredibly excited to be welcoming telehealth to our services!
So – what is telehealth? Telehealth is remote-based healthcare and support. Telehealth has been used across many different fields for quite some time, but there was a large boom in the use of telehealth when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
While there are many different types of telehealth services, I will be focusing on the use of remote, synchronous Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) to oversee a learner’s programming and team.
In this post, I will be talking about how telehealth is incorporated into a learner’s treatment at BPI.
Telehealth in ABA
Telehealth has a wide variety of uses in the world of ABA. It has been found to be effective for caregiver training, direct support services, staff training, and supervision. Telehealth may be used for a variety of different reasons, but at BPI the purpose is to increase access to trained BCBAs while still maintaining the in-person aspect of care for a learner.
Telehealth services can occur in the clinic, home, or community settings based on the needs of a learner, which is typically determined through discussions between the caregivers and BCBA.
The Benefits of Telehealth
Having worked in the world of telehealth for several years, there are many benefits to incorporating telehealth into a learner’s care.
Telehealth allows for additional flexibility for caregivers to be involved in making treatment decisions. The BCBA can catch a busy caregiver on their lunch break, right before or after a routine drop off/pickup, or at a time that is most convenient to them. It does not require the caregiver to travel, but instead, hop onto a quick video call!
Telehealth also allows another modality for caregivers to observe sessions or the assessment process with the BCBA, virtually. In addition, telehealth may decrease the level of reactivity (a.k.a a behavior change caused by the awareness of being observed) since the BCBA is not physically present.
Your Team Was Trained for This
Many people say telehealth is scary, but I’m here to tell you that it isn’t!
A well-trained BCBA will provide a high level of support and coaching over live video. If you are worried because your child doesn’t engage with others on screen, that’s okay.
In BPI’s telehealth model, BCBAs support the hands-on staff that work directly with and implement the day-to-day goals with the learner. In addition, there is a trained support person on site to gather any necessary materials, maintain the learner’s work area, and have all the fun activities ready to go for the session.
Our telehealth BCBAs are trained on ways to engage learners and develop a relationship with them on screen. This can be done by pairing the screen and BCBA with fun activities and the learner’s favorite things. If a learner loves to see themselves on screen or work with iPads/computers, then utilizing technology in the learner’s programming is possible.
Telehealth at BPI
If you walk into a telehealth session at BPI, you will potentially see a dedicated iPad screen located on top of a flexible rollie cart with the BCBA “live streaming” and Bluetooth headphones for the team member, and lots of learning and fun!
During a typical telehealth session, the remote BCBA will observe and instruct the learner's team on program implementation, probe new skills, monitor the learner's progress, and update/revamp any goals for the learner, all of the same things that are done physically in person.
On average, most telehealth supervision sessions last between 1-3 hours, and telehealth caregiver training sessions can last anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour.
Let’s review, ABA supervision via telehealth not only provides additional flexibility to busy caregivers who want to be involved in their child’s ABA treatment but also allows for additional access to care and cultivates a new level of care at BPI.
If you are interested in starting ABA services and are wondering how telehealth may fit into your life, give us a call at (888) 308-3728 to talk with our new client team today!