Benefits of telehealth services for children with Autism
by Neerja Anand
On 30 March, 2021
Sitting on a remote farm in Wyoming or a small town in the desert of West Texas meant health services were hard to come by for the folks and communities of far flung towns & rural outposts. Not anymore! Telehealth is the magic mantra being used around the world (Japan to Jordan, South Africa to Sweden) to provide good care, treatment, therapy and follow up with patients by specialists. The golden age of technology has proved to be especially helpful for families of patients on the spectrum. Let's read about the myriad ways telehealth services are helping families help themselves and their loved ones.
The many benefits of telehealth services for children with Autism are:
Accessibility – Telehealth services are a big boon for families who live in a rural area or remote locations. Earlier their child/young adult would not get the benefit of the therapy or other medical services due to their location. Alternatively, they would have to travel a great distance to access health/therapy services. This is a god sent for families who have been deprived of access to good health services of any nature.
Communication and follow ups – Telehealth services have enabled autism service professionals to follow up with families, discuss issues & challenges as well ensure that the prescribed therapy is being put into practice daily and with due diligence. So even if for some reasons, the child cannot go to the Autism care center or the therapist visit the home, the therapy, and its long term benefits are not paused.
Enhanced patient outcomes - The easy accessibility and frequency of services and treatment lead to better results for the patients and their families. This is a critical benefit of telehealth services and the treatment of people with ASD. It is a great way of providing training for parents & caregivers to enhance and improve support which is important & very helpful for stressed or burdened families.
Save costs – Telehealth services can be economical as well versus visiting Autism care centers or even in – home therapy.
Convenience – It’s convenient for the family and the child to receive therapy, health services, follow ups or counseling from the comfort of the home as per timings suitable to them.
Focus on the family - By observing the child in his/her natural environment via video calls, therapists observe behaviors as the family experienced them first hand and are able to provide methods to respond or resolve. Families in rural and off – beat locations are the beneficiaries of such services.
The advances of technology and the Covid-19 pandemic (which forced all of us indoors and physical distancing for the safety of our loved ones and communities) have brought telehealth services to our homes, now getting help/treatment or therapy is no longer a cumbersome affair.