An intensive telehealth assessment and treatment model for an adult with developmental disabilities

Lesley A. Shawler, Joy C. Clayborne, Brian Nasca, Julia T. O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over the last decade, the provision of applied behavior analysis (ABA) services within a telehealth delivery format has had a flourishing literature base. Research has demonstrated that caregivers can successfully conduct functional analyses and functional communication training to treat challenging behavior with coaching from practitioners via telehealth. Previous limitations include research that has only been conducted with children, typically in 1hr, weekly meetings, so the utility of providing ABA therapy via telehealth across the lifespan is unknown. Additionally, the effects of a more intensive treatment format delivered via telehealth has not been evaluated. The purpose of the current study was to coach caregivers to conduct the assessment and treatment process for a young man with developmental disabilities using an intensive-outpatient model in a telehealth format. Functional analysis procedures led to the development of a function-based treatment to reduce challenging behavior and increase functional communication. Caregivers demonstrated high procedural integrity across all phases of the study and found the intervention highly acceptable and effective. Areas for future research and directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103876
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Developmental disabilities
  • Function-based treatment
  • Functional analysis
  • Telehealth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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