Can Telehealth Fill Gap in Autism Services?

Parents struggling to find and afford therapy for their child with autism may eventually be able to provide that therapy themselves with the help of telehealth training.

Findings from a federally funded pilot study on telehealth training at Michigan State University show the online program successfully helped parents of children with autism improve their child's social communication using research-based intervention techniques. The results are published online in the international journal Autism and in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Further research is under way at MSU, but the findings offer hope that telehealth - or the delivery of health services and information via the Internet and related technologies - can fill a massive need. The prevalence of autism has increased dramatically in the past two decades without a corresponding growth in the availability of intervention services for parents.