Helping parents help their children
Ten years ago, University of Kansas research psychologist Linda Heitzman-Powell and researcher Jay Buzhardt had an idea to help parents of children with autism who live in communities without access to behavioral therapists: Train those parents remotely, via live TV and online modules.
That idea has evolved into the Online and Applied System for Intervention Skills (OASIS), a clinical service that uses telemedicine to help families, regardless of where they live.
OASIS teaches learning strategies and behavior management skills. But unlike some intervention programs that are solely for the child, OASIS teaches the parents effective ways to interact with their child. Based at KU Medical Center, the program consists of 12 to 16 weekly sessions via video conference or in person, as well as online training.
“Telemedicine enables us to be anywhere,” Heitzman-Powell said. “This is a great way to reach underserved areas and help families who wouldn’t otherwise have access to this type of treatment.”