Most Americans have a smartphone, and smartphones and their apps are quickly replacing computers, especially among millennials. For Registered Behavioral Technicians (RBTs) and Board-Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), mobile learning technologies could dramatically change outcomes for those with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), and you need to understand why.
What Is Wrong with Today’s Outcomes?
The greatest problem with today’s outcomes revolves around when applied behavior analysis (ABA) begins and its duration. The importance of early intervention in reducing developmental delays in those with ASDs has been extensively studied, and many experts have testified before Congress on this matter, asserts Autism Speaks. Unfortunately, constraints on existing therapists, including maintaining credentials and hiring additional technicians wear away the amount of time to see individuals.
In a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a young mother faced the uncertainty of suspecting her child had autism, but diagnosis and treatment appointments had very long waits. After six months, she was finally able to get her child into a state-funded emergency intervention program, and her child was diagnosed with autism.
This scenario occurs too often in society. The speed at which therapists and technicians can begin ABA plays a dominant role in the success of the treatment. Furthermore, early intervention may also help to reduce the need for medication treatment of ASDs in the future. As a result, more behavioral technicians and therapists are looking for alternatives to the traditional way of doing “behind-the-scenes” work, such as training and continuing education, and mobile learning may be the solution.
What Makes an App Superior for Use in the Workplace?
Mobile apps and technologies are not just impacting behavioral therapists; more organizations and companies around the globe are embracing mobile technologies to improve employee productivity, market their brand and more, explains CIO.com. Moreover, the push toward doing more with less is driving more organizations to embrace sustainable alternatives to traditional business practices.
Today’s employees are being “swamped with more work” than most care to think about. Yet, organizations must still find a way to connect with employees without detracting from the vital processes and activities of work. In other words, employers must find a way to ensure training is completed on time without necessarily bothering the employee during working hours. In other words, a mobile app that can be accessed from anywhere is the key.
For example, handing out hundreds of pages of printed materials for training purposes is a waste of resources, including natural resources. However, transitioning to a mobile-based training program, such as an app, effectively eliminates the need for extra resources in completing annual or initial training. This also helps the company to avoid criticism from “green” watchdog groups as well.
How Does M-Learning Improve Outcomes?
The conversation on how m-learning improves outcomes can appear disconnected from the aforementioned explanation of mobile learning in enterprise applications. However, the basic principle of business, providing superior products or services to those you serve, holds true in caring for those with ASDs. App-based mobile technologies can also dramatically improve outcomes in several key ways.
Better Understanding of Leading Therapeutic Strategies for Enhancing Effectivity of ABA.
When a therapist or technician has access to the most relevant, recent information for applying ABA, he or she is more likely to use these new strategies to improve outcomes. This concept has been extensively studied in a variety of health care settings as well, explains a recent article in Nursing Open magazine.
Improved Continuity of Care
The continuity of care for those with ASDs also relates to the state of mind of the therapist or technician. In traditional, computer-based training modules, spending extra time at the desk can feel like a burden, which reduces the effectivity of the respective professional in documenting and becoming immersed in providing care to those with ASDs, as explained in the publication, “The Use of Technology in the Treatment of Autism.”
Improved continuity of care may be applied directly with apps based on documentation of changes and progress notes. Essentially, having access to all information, including training requirements and previous sessions with the people you serve, helps therapists and technicians identify and adjust care plans to provide the most benefit.
Ability to See More People Through Less Time Spent Chained to a Desk for Training
Thinking back to the role of time in providing the best care for those with autism or ASDs, the amount of time lost due to training can be quite extensive. Rather than spending extra time working on training when appointments are near, therapists can work on training sessions throughout the day or whenever motivation strikes. Ultimately, not defining a specific time for working on training modules results in the ability to see more people in a day, which lessens overall wait times.
Useful in Seeing People Outside of the Office
Some individuals, especially those with severe intellectual or developmental disabilities, may be incapable of visiting a therapist in an office. So, the ability to go see them in homes or other settings outside of the office is becoming a critical aspect of modern care for those with disabilities.
Obviously, completing training modules while driving would be dangerous, but ABA therapy teams, consisting of both the BCBA and RBT, may travel together to see someone. As a result, the passenger may be able to take advantage of the extra time to complete training modules. Meanwhile, mobile charting enables the team to access records from previous ABA sessions.
Putting It All Together
At first, mobile technology can seem like just another part of life. However, mobile technology can be leveraged to improve virtually any process in business from anywhere, which includes the activities relating to serving those with autism and ASDs. Rather than trying to stay tied to a desk, you need to think about how increasing mobile training could reduce the workload of behavioral therapists and technicians, which will inherently lead to better outcomes for the people you serve.