Revising Autism Interventions to Meet Demand, Improve Early Care

Summary of “Telehealth-based Systems for Diagnosis, Management and Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders: Challenges, Opportunities and Applications,” (2013), Angjellari-Dajci F., Lawless, W. F., Agarwal, N., Oberleitner, R.., Coleman, B., Warsi, S., and Kavoossi, M. In  I. M. Miranda and M. M. Cruz-Cunha eds. Handbook of Research on ICTs for Healthcare and Social Services: Developments and Applications, Hershey, PA: IGI

One out of every 110 American children has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and the cost of caring for and treating ASD has risen to over 3 million dollars per person. Those are the numbers reported by authors of another chapter in IGI’s new book, Handbook of Research on ICTs for Healthcare and Social Services. With skyrocketing costs and ever-increasing demands, the current in-person delivery methods for ASD are understaffed and unable to handle the slew of problems currently facing the ASD community in America.

However, champions of new telehealth programs, including Behavior Imaging, say—and pilot studies appear to confirm—that telehealth diagnosis, treatment, and management of ASD have the potential to meet demand while also providing the effective early treatment that professionals have now realized is so important. Proponents of telehealth care for ASD argue that while the initial implementation of telehealth interventions could be costlier than in-person care, the long-term results would be more cost- effective, providing every family and individual with the accurate and early care they need.