MELBOURNE, FLA.—Florida Institute of Technology’s The Scott Center for Autism Treatment parent training program via telemedicine has reached several milestones since it began late last year. The “Learning to Live with Autism” program, funded by $142,000 in grants from the State of Florida (Agency for Persons with Disabilities) and the Harper Family Charitable Foundation Inc., provides free services to up to 30 underserved families from around the state. Ivy Chong, director of autism services and training, obtained the grant and is the program's supervising psychologist.
The following are milestones met since the program began last November:
All required online training modules have been created, which include 10 one-hour, online PowerPoint presentations with a live real-time facilitator
47 percent of participating children have undergone an initial consultation in the same day that their parent or caregiver attended the diagnostic evaluation and initial training
20 percent of participating families receive weekly consultations in conjunction with the training modules
90 percent of the 30 families have been recruited; application reviews are ongoing in order to fill the remaining slots
The purpose of the program is to expand treatment services to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families. Under the grant, the center offers clinic assessments and recommendations to parents or caregivers who have a loved one, aged 2 to 18, diagnosed with autism. A 10-week follow-up of online parent training and consultation, and on-site visits help the families implement these recommendations.
“We feel very privileged to be able to help families in need,” said Chong. “We've seen very good results in just a few short months, and are definitely on target to meet our goals. That's something to be proud of.”
One in 88 children who are diagnosed with autism has trouble communicating and interacting socially with others; they may also exhibit other unique challenges, such as aggression, property destruction and noncompliance. For more information on how the Scott Center can help, visit www.thescottcenter.org, or call (321) 674-8106.