Nation’s Leading Autism Treatment Provider Turns to Telehealth to Continue Treatment during COVID

In the wake of COVID-19, the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) has maintained critical treatment for its patients through the use of telehealth. Children affected by autism spectrum disorder typically get in-person treatment as much as five days a week. Disruptions in treatment may cause children to lose critical social and communication skills, and the abrupt changes in daily schedules can be especially challenging.

In response to COVID, CARD deployed CARD Telehealth, the state-of-the-art program designed by CARD clinical experts that facilitates individualized care to any patient with access to the Internet. CARD clinicians use traditional videoconferencing tools to deliver evidence-based, top-quality applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy to patients who are adhering to stay-at-home orders. Initially developed to reach families in remote and densely populated areas with limited access to autism treatment, CARD Telehealth parallels the in-person treatment for which CARD is world renowned. In addition to maintaining its patients’ positive trajectory on typical treatment goals, CARD Telehealth enables clinicians to help children improve handwashing and other hygiene skills and use cloth facemasks to align with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control.

“The needs of our patients don’t diminish in a pandemic. CARD is fortunate to have had an effective telehealth program in place for years, so we have been able to transition pretty seamlessly from in-person to telehealth,” said Dennis Dixon, Ph.D., CARD’s chief clinical officer. “Families who are hesitant to use telehealth see the value and potential of it once they give it a try.”

Federal and state emergency guidance has made autism treatment accessible via telehealth for the first time for some patients, and CARD is hopeful that recognition of telehealth as an effective treatment option will endure beyond COVID-19. Multiple peer-reviewed publications demonstrate the effectiveness of telehealth in treating the behaviors and developmental delays associated with ASD, and emergency publications by Behavior Analysis in Practice have provided insight and guidance specific to the global effort to use telehealth to maintain and increase access to ABA-based autism treatment throughout COVID-related quarantines.

About Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)
CARD treats individuals of all ages who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at treatment centers around the globe. CARD was founded in 1990 by leading autism expert and clinical psychologist Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D. CARD treats individuals with ASD using the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA), which is empirically proven to be the most effective method for treating individuals with ASD and recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Surgeon General. For more information, visit or call (818) 345-2345.