Discovery Magazine

Special Appropriations Contract Award--Scott Center for Autism Treatment

The Scott Center for Autism Treatment is developing a hybrid behavioral intervention program that aims to increase access to services across Florida for families with a child with autism. As a requirement of the program, families and the child with autism will travel to the clinic for a brief diagnostic evaluation and initial caregiver training (i.e., one full day). The diagnostic evaluation and parent training will be conducted simultaneously by a team of trained clinicians who will also work with the child with autism. Once the initial evaluation is completed, each family will be provided with a behavior plan tailored to the needs of the family and their child with autism. Following the initial visit to the clinic, families will receive 10 sessions (to be delivered consecutively) of web-based, caregiver training. Additionally, the training modules from the caregiver training will be available to any individual at no charge who registers online and completes a brief evaluation of the materials.

The weekly caregiver training will be delivered via real-time, web-based telehealth through an easily accessible program such as Skype or Adobe Connect. The session will be conducted by a master’s level behavior specialist and supervised by a doctoral level board certified behavior analyst targeting ways to help the child with autism. During the first session, the behavior specialist will review the treatment recommendations and review the structure of the 8-module training sessions. The subsequent eight sessions will review a different training module each week. A treatment summary will be completed and provided to the family with recommendations for helping their child with autism within 48-hours of the appointment. Upon completion of the program (approximately 3 – 4 months), a structured interview will be completed to determine the progress of the child with autism. Additional recommendations for maintenance and continuity of care will be provided.