SUNSET: Equity of Autism Services in Rural America: A BCBA® Supervisor Call to Action

 SUNSET: Equity of Autism Services in Rural America: A BCBA Supervisor Call to Action

Autism in rural America has not been widely studied. We know that fewer children in rural America are receiving autism diagnoses, are diagnosed at a much later age then their suburban and urban peers, and many do not receive autism intervention at the intensity rate needed to change the trajectory of the disorder. Research findings suggest that variables contributing to poor outcomes for people with ASD include both intrinsic factors (severity of symptoms, cognitive ability, co-morbid mental health issues) and extrinsic factors (socioeconomic status, access to services, coordinated services, and transition services). Applied behavior analysis has the strongest evidence base as an effective autism treatment. Yet, in many rural areas across the United States, there are no or few BCBA®s to provide services. This session explores the lack of BCBA®s in rural areas that clearly impact access to evidence-based services for children with ASD, presents research findings from one project that explored the process and impact of upskilling in a rural community of poverty following the BACB® supervision guidelines, and presents a call to action of BCBA®s to provide supervision for professionals working to become BCBA®s, BCaBAs and RBT®s.  The objectives of this session are as follows.

The learner will:

  1. Understand the impact of underserved areas on ASD outcomes
  2. Understand how underserved areas in terms of ASD outcome impact long-term societal costs 
  3. Describe a model of upskilling as a means to increase the number of behavior analytic professionals in underserved areas
  4. Describe research findings regarding practices (telehealth, upskilling, blended telehealth/face to face) for providing effective supervision in rural America
  5. Understand how bias influences our practice.
  6. Identify ways in which each participant can contribute to the education and supervision of potential behavior analytic professionals in underserved areas near their place of practice

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