Resources for Autism Assessment and Care amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The rapidly evolving challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have caused countless disruptions for families across the country as they seek autism diagnostic assessments and support for their toddlers. In response we have developed opportunities to share various resources with families, early intervention providers, and diagnosticians.

  • For families of young children we will be conducting a series of no-cost webinars with opportunities for learning strategies and asking for guidance.
  • For early intervention providers we will be sharing six-week curriculum modules (challenging behavior, social communication, play, toilet training, sleep) and engaging in a series of webinars focused on supporting implementation. There is no cost for the curricula or webinars.
  • For diagnosticians, we will be sharing about a tool for telediagnostic assessments for toddlers. There is no cost for the webinar.
  • For BCBA’s/LBA’s we’re offering a foundational training on ethical considerations in the use of telemedicine for delivering behavior analytic services.

More information at the links below. We will continue to add resources and opportunities as able and needed.


SPECIAL NOTE: The first 500 participants in each webinar session are accepted. All who register will receive information about the archived webinar session and additional webinar opportunities.


Telemedicine-based Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessment in Toddlers
Live session Friday, March 27, 1:00-2:30 p.m. and Tuesday, March 31, Noon

Please join us for training on an ASD tele-diagnostic triage tool for clinicians to use for families of young children in need of autism assessment and faced with geographic or social distancing barriers. Traditional diagnostic services for young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) through the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center / Treatment and Research Institute for ASD (TRIAD) have been suspended due to the COVID-19 response. We are presently converting all diagnostic evaluations of toddlers to tele-medicine evaluations using a new tool (TELE-ASD-PEDS) explicitly built for this purpose and under evaluation in an ongoing trial (clinicaltrials.gov, NCT03847337). The TELE-ASD-PEDS was designed for diagnosticians to use without need for prior training or standardized materials. We will review pilot data from established telemedicine programs and evaluation studies and offer training and free use of the TELE-ASD-PEDS to any provider similarly responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will also briefly review how our telemedicine models for identification flow into early intervention services for families where there are ASD or other developmental concerns.

March 27 registration link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_NnFvkzj8Rwi4tgQy3-Ui1w

March 31 registration link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_sV1AAlTFTymcr1rv9Rwh_A


Early Intervention Focused Telehealth Support Series for Providers
Thursdays, 12 noon until further notice

Please join the VKC TRIAD for a series of web-based training opportunities on the remote delivery of early intervention services to young children with ASD and related developmental delays and disabilities. While many home and clinic based services are currently suspended do to the COVID-19 pandemic, our goal is to equip early intervention providers with information and resources to continue serving families from a distance.

Through participation in this series, early intervention providers will receive information on the following topics

  • How to access web-based curricula on evidence-based practices to support young children with ASD. Available curricula include Communication, Challenging Behavior, Social Play, Sleep, and Toilet Training.
  • How to best utilize web-based curricula to support families via telehealth.
  • Strategies to support remote coaching and consultation with caregivers.
  • Ethical considerations for the delivery of telehealth services
  • Logistical consideration for providers and caregivers establishing telehealth services

Registration link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_poHbnwpmQei3ngAwvVH73w


Families First Online Education Series
Thursdays, 1:00-1:30 p.m. until further notice

Please join the VKC TRIAD’s Families First team for a series of web-based educational opportunities for caregivers of young children with autism. These will include information on topics such as how to schedule your day at home during this time, how to structure specific activities within your day, and how to continue to work on goal areas while services may be paused. Participants are able to attend as few or as many as they would like, as this is not a series. Once you are registered for this opportunity, you are able to join any of the weeks you are able. These will also be recorded for those unable to attend during the specified time.

Registration link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_65FW8ZwqRBau6N6ib_329g


Ethical Considerations for Delivering ABA Services via Telemedicine (in Partnership with TN DIDD)
Friday, April 3, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

VKC TRIAD and the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (TN DIDD) invite BCBA’s/LBA’s to join us for an introductory overview of key ethical considerations in delivering behavior analytic services via telemedicine. VKC TRIAD regularly uses various modes of telepractice to reach and support families and educators in rural and low resource communities, and will share foundational information based on lessons learned and a broad expertise across a variety of telemedicine-based programming. This Webinar is hosted by TN DIDD, but is open to non-DIDD providers.

Purpose
- Highlight ethical considerations for planning and delivering behavior analytic service enhanced through telehealth
- Describe a process for individualizing a service model that incorporates evidence-based therapeutic approaches that a consultant can deliver remotely

Intended audience
- BCBAs, BCaBAs, and RBTs who serve clients through the DIDD system or that have similar client needs and characteristics (e.g. age 18+ with I/DD)

Topics covered
- Determining client needs, selecting appropriate assessment/treatment pathways, and supporting service delivery through telehealth

Topics not covered

  • Billing or insurance regulations relative to telehealth
  • COVID-19-specific regulations, guidance, or recommendations
  • Role of licensure in providing telehealth

Registration link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_CF4z2aRXQTmlbunkP6k3kQ


Introduction to the Screening Tool for Autism in Toddlers (STAT™): Overview and discussion of potential telehealth applications
Friday, April 3, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

The STAT is an evidence-based, interactive measure developed to screen for autism in children between 24 and 36 months of age, with a provisional scoring algorithm for children under 24 months. It is designed for use by a wide range of community providers who work with young children in assessment or intervention settings and who have experience with autism. The STAT consists of 12 items and takes about 20 minutes to administer. Activities assess key social and communicative behaviors including imitation, play, requesting, and directing attention. The purpose of this 3 hour webinar is to provide an introduction to the use of the STAT, specifically:

  • Overview of administration and scoring of 12 items
  • Observation of a STAT administration
  • Discussion of potential applications in primary care and telehealth
  • Mechanisms for future training

The first 75 that register will be accepted into this training, if we have more interest then we will follow up to all about upcoming trainings.

Registration link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_s_zzDdqQRzuq6BSgVaOgLA


Central standard time zone