Caregiver Training and Support Telehealth (CTST)
With many families living in remote and rural areas where there is little or no access to qualified Behaviour Consultants, families are challenged by limited access to services. There is also a growing need to provide services via Telehealth to some families with specific restrictions imposed on having in-person services as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. The Caregiver Training and Support Telehealth (CTST) service model provides a solution to these issues by offering ongoing access to a qualified behaviour consultant for engagement in training and support activities through video conferencing platforms. Within this service model, one of our qualified behaviour consultants will:
- Collaborate with you to establish high priority goals on an ongoing basis that you will focus on with your child within your natural routines and activities
- Provide training on the relevant ABA concepts, as well as specific, individualized training for you to learn the necessary skills to work on the chosen goals with your child
- Use Behaviour Skills Training (BST) to provide modeling, coaching and feedback as you are learning to implement the goals and strategies with your child
- Work with you to monitor progress on your high priority goals by tracking and analyzing data and adjusting strategies as necessary to keep the goals moving forward
- Celebrate successes and troubleshoot challenges that arise so that you feel well-supported and confident in helping your child learn a variety of new skills
Telehealth service delivery is a means of enhancing autism treatment through the use of virtual communication technologies. Telehealth expands the capacity of qualified professionals, such as Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBAs), to provide support to children and families. There has been extensive research on the use and effectiveness of Telehealth to increase caregiver’s abilities to teach their children. We are fortunate to be able to rely on virtual technology to deliver Telehealth service and provide training and support to caregivers within the framework of Behavioural Skills Training (BST).
Researchers in the field of ABA agree that effective autism treatment programs all rely on caregiver involvement in the process. There are a variety of benefits for both children and caregivers when caregivers are highly involved in their child’s ABA program implementing goals. With caregiver involvement, children have increased opportunities for learning and are better able to maximize their acquisition of skills. Caregiver involvement also promotes the generalization of skills children have learned in other contexts (e.g., during behavioural intervention sessions and/or preschool/school). There are many benefits to caregivers participating in training and support opportunities including the fact that they learn effective ways to interact with their children, gain more knowledge about ABA and the specific teaching strategies used to help children acquire skills, and most importantly, they continue to learn skills to assist with their children’s development across a variety of learning domains. In addition, caregivers learn valuable strategies and environmental supports for managing their children’s behaviours across different situations. Overall, caregiver involvement strengthens their understanding of their children which leads to improved caregiver-child interactions and this contributes positively to both caregiver well-being and that of their children.