As a team, we talk a lot about our mission, and we test every decision we make against that mission; is what we are about to do really in line with our mission? We are not perfect, we make plenty of mistakes, but we can honestly say that we believe the answer is an overwhelming “yes”.
As we strive to change the world for children with autism, we are focused on ALL children with autism: current FAC clients, former FAC clients, and clients that FAC will never serve. If we can advocate for better funding, more inclusion, greater awareness, increased acceptance, and all-around better services for all children with autism everywhere, then we believe we are living up to our expectations of ourselves and our mission. It is not just about providing the highest quality clinical services, it is about lowering the risk of bullying, teaching self-advocacy, and increasing the chances that substantially more children with autism can grow up to lead self-supporting and self-enriching lives.
We are now in a world of unprecedented complexity. We remain unwaveringly confident that as a community and a nation we will get through these tough times and we will bounce back stronger than ever. China was several weeks ahead of us in terms of their experience curve with the coronavirus and they are now beginning to see some return to normalcy with emergency hospitals no longer needed, factories and stores starting to reopen, and people’s confidence beginning to return. In the U.S., we are not through the toughest times yet, but we will get through them if we remain vigilant, supportive, work together, and seek the best in others.
It is with our mission and an effort to support one another in mind, that we ask ourselves, how can we help? What can we do? This is our call to action, and we want to work alongside the ABA community to problem solve how we can provide continuity of care to our most vulnerable population – children with autism.
ABA therapy is classified as an essential health service and is covered by insurance plans and Medicaid programs across the country. With many states and cities issuing mandatory shelter-in-place orders, the White House has stated in “Coronavirus Guidelines for America” that employees in critical infrastructure industries such as health care “have a special responsibility to maintain [their] normal work schedule”.
Many of our own clients have achieved improved levels of functioning thanks to the dedication and partnership our clinical therapists share with the families and caregivers of our clients. But what if services were to abruptly halt? Setbacks could occur with significant negative impacts to both the client and his/her family.
In order to address continuity of care, we have worked tirelessly to develop individualized service delivery plans for all FAC client families. By using home-based and Telehealth service delivery we are working hard to meet our families where they are while also significantly reducing risk for our employees by moving services out of our clinic setting. This allows us to stay true to our top priority – the health and safety of our employees, clients, families, and communities.
As we begin our “new normal”, we have heard from a great many providers who are being forced to make very difficult decisions due to not having the resources available to continue to provide services. Many are preparing to close their doors, in some cases permanently. Many others are experiencing a shortage of clinicians. We recognize that these difficult times are unprecedented and entirely unpredictable, and we are here to help. FAC is absolutely committed to working alongside all providers to help minimize the impact for all children with autism and their families.
If you are a family who is experiencing a disruption in services, please reach out using the form below, we want to help. We know that circumstances have changed quickly and drastically with school closures, community events being canceled, and family respite opportunities closed. Our children thrive in routine and predictability, and we hope that we can support you and bring you the reassurance that with support, you can successfully establish a “new normal” for your child and family.
If you are a Registered Behavior Technician that is willing to serve by providing home-based services, please also reach out using the form below. We would love to partner with you so that together, we can continue to provide medically necessary services for the children and families who depend on them.
Our thoughts are with the entire ABA community. As we navigate these uncertain and ever-evolving times, may we all stick together, support one another, and spread a little kindness.