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Intercontinental telehealth coaching of therapists to improve verbalizations by children with autism.

Intercontinental telehealth coaching of therapists to improve verbalizations by children with autism.

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Intercontinental telehealth coaching of therapists to improve verbalizations by children with autism.

J Appl Behav Anal. 2017 Jul;50(3):582-589

Authors: Barkaia A, Stokes TF, Mikiashvili T

Abstract
This study examined the effects of intercontinental telehealth coaching on the mastery of therapists' skills and improvements in verbalizations by children with autism, testing whether telehealth can be a solution for underserved communities in developing countries such as Georgia-Sakartvelo in Eastern Europe. Three therapists delivering and three children with autism receiving early-intervention services from the nongovernmental organization Children of Georgia in Tbilisi participated. Experimenters provided coaching from Virginia, USA to therapists in Georgia-Sakartvelo. Observers in Georgia-Sakartvelo and in Virginia conducted the behavioral observations. We used inexpensive communications technology to provide the coaching and a multiple-baseline design across participants to evaluate the effects of the intervention. Therapists demonstrated improvements in two classes of behaviors: correct command sequences and positive consequences. The children demonstrated improvements with echoics and mands. The study demonstrated that telehealth can be a good model for delivering early-intervention services to children with autism in underserved and distant regions of the world.

PMID: 28436542 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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