Meet Getting an early start on autism: our virtual coaching program supporting parents of young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
By Brightline team
By Brightline team
1 in 44 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism.
Early interventions have been shown to drive long-term positive effects on the common symptoms of autism and later skills. That’s why we’ve launched our Getting an early start on autism program in honor of Autism Awareness Month — the first of its kind.
About our new first-line intervention program
Getting an early start on autism provides caregivers of young children ages 18 months through six years a safe space to tackle the common challenges associated with autism, with the support of dedicated experts. This new program is based on early interventions that have been clinically proven to drive long-term positive effects on the common symptoms of ASD as well as the development of later skills.
Through virtual 1:1 sessions with a dedicated coach trained and experienced in autism care, as well as supplementary exercises and content resources, our program supports families across all stages of their early autism journeys. Even better? Progress is measured to achieve outcomes faster.
What families can expect
- Personalized parent coaching: Our specialized ASD coaches help set families up for success
- On-demand resources: From learning how to play with your child to making home modifications, our content library is here to teach caregivers like you the skills to support your child
- Feedback from the experts: You can upload videos of you and your child practicing skills and get feedback between sessions from your coach
Why it matters for families
"Families of young children with ASD and at-risk for ASD have needed something like our program for a long time," said Nonyé Nwosu Kanu, Ph.D, Brightline's Program Development Manager. "Our program has been carefully crafted for families occupying a range of experiences from first concerns to early intervention to experienced navigators of care systems, whether pre-or-post-diagnosis. As an ASD family member, I wish a program like this existed for my family."
Prevalence of ASDs has risen in the past decade by 78%, and the majority of children with ASD had a higher probability of worsened behavioral symptoms during the pandemic. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, parent management training is the first-line intervention for children with ASD or disruptive behaviors and is widely considered to be the most important tool for decreasing aggression, defiance, and oppositional behavior at home in children and adolescents. Early interventions give children the best start possible and the highest chance of developing to their full potential. The sooner a child gets help, the greater the probability for learning and progress — with many children making significant improvements in all areas in which children with autism have difficulty. Yet the current model for autism care is broken, and less than a third of caregivers have access to necessary training.
"Accessing competent and helpful ASD professionals can be time and money intensive, prolonging the gap between diagnosis and intervention," said Thea Shukaliak-Neufeld, OTD, OTR/L. "Readily available coaches can fill the gap both pre-and post-diagnosis by providing tailored strategies from a suite of well-defined modules addressing various skills, such as social communication and engagement, behavior modification, and adaptive behavior. Early intervention provides caregivers with validation and support as concerns arise. Supporting caregivers of children with ASD is paramount to the overall well-being of the family unit, and coaches at Brightline are the link to future multidisciplinary and coordinated care."
How our integrated care approach makes a difference
More than half of all individuals who have been diagnosed with ASD also have signs of ADHD. In fact, ADHD is the most common coexisting condition in children with ASD. Our integrated care system with in-house experts removes the painful step for families in having to search for various specialists. It allows families to address other comorbidities associated with ASD, all in one place, including ADHD and other disruptive behaviors, through other coaching and therapy offerings. We also have a team of Brightline speech language pathologists who can work through language and communication challenges with children as young as 18 months.
"Brightline is harnessing technology and specialized behavioral health coaching to teach parents scientifically proven skills that can promote their children's social and communicative development," said David Grodberg, Brightline's Chief Psychiatric Officer. "The scalability of this focused program holds promise to help parents and caregivers much sooner than the current system allows."