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What does Telemedicine mean for the Special Needs Population?

Expert Name: Kimberly Woolery
Expert Title: Kimberly Woolery
Company Name:  Special Learning, Inc.
Company URL: www.special-learning.com
Short Bio: Kimberly Woolery received her bachelor’s degree in philosophy with a minor in psychology from

 Florida International University and her master’s degree in counseling psychology with a concentration in Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis from Nova Southeastern University. Born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, Kimberly’s clinical research interests lies in achieving cultural competency in behavior analytic service delivery. As a clinical specialist at Special Learning, Kimberly hopes to fuse marriage and family therapy with behavior analysis to create a culturally sensitive service delivery model for the special needs population in developing countries like Jamaica.

What does Telemedicine mean for the Special Needs Population?
Telemedicine is an alternative for families who do not have direct access to healthcare services near them such as Applied Behavior Analysis. It is extremely beneficial because it helps to increase access to a larger population, is cost efficient, improves quality of healthcare, and also reduces travel time and other stressors for the family receiving telehealth services.
 
What is Remote Consulting?
 
The goal of Remote Consultation is to offer support and parent training to monitor, train and teach the parent how to run his or her own home ABA therapy program while under the guidance of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Remote Consulting consists of an intensive home-based ABA program that includes training for families of children affected by behavioral, developmental and intellectual disabilities such as Autism, ADHD/ADD, anxiety, dyslexia, conduct disorder, oppositional defiance, children in need of additional academic support as an alternative for parents who do not wish to receive ABA services in a centre-based setting but in their homes. During the Remote Consultation sessions, parents/caregivers learn how to incorporate ABA techniques.
 
What types of populations are suitable for Distance Consulting?
 
• Typically developing children with behavioral problems 
 
• Children with developmental/intellectual disabilities e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down syndrome 
 
• Children with learning disabilities e.g. ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia 
 
• Children with mental health diagnoses e.g. Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder
 
• Parents seeking additional support for their child’s home program/parents who already have a home programme in place and want additional guidance and support 
 
• Parents who need help coordinating and supervision for the intervention programme they already have in place 
 
• Parents who are unable to find effective local training and support to understand their child’s specific needs and want to learn behavior management methods/techniques to help him or her. 
 
It is very important for all parents and practitioners to know that before a child is accepted into a Remote Consultation ABA Programme, the practitioner must take precautionary measures to ensure the child is a prime candidate for a virtual consulting programme.
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Being an RBT for me was extremely fun because where were you going to find a place where you can be completely silly without having to worry what people thought about you? This was the only job that made me feel like I could make a dramatic difference while being myself.

I also liked to be surrounded by people that had the same goals of wanting to help kids and the teamwork made the job much easier and more enjoyable.

Change and progress was the ultimate goal for our kiddos. The early intervention program was seriously only a miracle because I saw changes in the kiddos that from day one, you wouldn’t even recognize who they were.

Changes from being able to utter 3-4 words where they can only make a syllable from when they started, the behavior decreases in which kiddo that used to engage in 30-40 0 self-harm to only half, learning how to wait during games, table work where they use to swipe and drop to the floor if they had to.

My favorite was when the parents would tell us what amazing progress they were making at home. I used to tear up and felt for these parents so much because it was already difficult for them and now, they can trust and rely on ABA and the therapists knowing their goal was ours.

By Emma Rogers, BA, RBT

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