The Multi-faceted Implementation of Telepractice to Service Individuals with Autism
Telepractice is a method of service delivery in which professionals provide intervention, assessment and consultation services to individuals through the use of telecommunication technologies. In response to the nationwide school-based shortage of speech-language pathologists, telepractice has emerged as a viable way to reach underserved clients. Telepractice has the potential to extend to populations in need of services, including those diagnosed with autism. This paper examines an evidence-based clinical model for the delivery of telepractice services and describes the policies and procedures required for assessing individual need, confidentiality, technology, training and documentation within a telepractice program. Two clinical case studies involving individuals diagnosed with autism are described and provide initial evidence for the use of telepractice as a practical method for direct and consultative service delivery. Results indicated that both the student receiving direct services, and the treating clinician receiving consultative services via telepractice, demonstrated an increased skill level in target domains.
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