New Approaches For Autism: Early Intervention, Telehealth & More

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  • New Approaches for Autism: Early Intervention, Telehealth & More

Boyd H. Mark, director of telehealth services for The Scott Center, described telehealth as a technology whose time has come. The Center, a nonprofit organization on the Florida Tech campus, developed a free, online screening tool ( to boost screening rates for all children as early as two years of age. The tool, which was launched 18 months ago, has 10,000 accounts. The Center also uses technology to diagnose and deliver care from iPads used in consumers’ homes to the use of cameras set-up in exam rooms to allow offsite health care providers to work with consumers. Technology enables faster treatment options that are scalable, Mr. Mark said.

“If we get to them [consumers with ASD] early, we can reduce the signs and symptoms, reduce costs, and help them lead healthier lives,” said Mr. Mark, who noted that if children with ASD receive treatment prior to elementary school, 50% of them are indistinguishable from peers. Without intervention that drops to 2%. “There is an enormous opportunity during a small window of time to screen, identify them and to take action,” Mr. Mark said. “It’s the phenomena of neuroplasticity—if we can reach these kids early, we can make a tremendous difference.”