Children to Benefit From First-Ever Standardized Success Metrics for Autism
September 23, 2021
September 23, 2021
As children and families touched by autism know, success looks different for everyone. For some, it’s a first word spoken verbally or communicated through a device. For others, it’s toileting independently or integrating into school.
Kids often recognize their own successes, parents can see their progress, and clinicians can gauge their patient gains on an individual basis, but because objectives and achievements vary from person to person, there has not been a consistent level of measurement across the field. While ABA and other therapies have always been data-driven, a baseline across the board has been the missing piece.
That is, until now.
This month, the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) launched the first-ever standard set for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) treatment outcomes for individuals older than 18 months of age. The Autism Spectrum Disorder Standard Set (ASDSS) was developed by a group of international autism experts to be implemented by all clinicians who provide autism therapy, regardless of their treatment method.
Prior to the ASDSS, a standardized measure of autism therapy outcomes did not exist, making it difficult for clinicians, patients and caregivers to compare the results between various treatment modalities from a holistic perspective.
The adoption of this set will enhance the standard of care for people with autism – children and adults alike – by aligning all parties involved in an individual’s treatment and arming patients and caregivers with data to help them make informed decisions.
Once implemented globally, the ASDSS will drive value-based healthcare by allowing the autism community to clearly discern which care methods are more effective in treating symptoms of ASD. The set will also help protect patients against therapies that are not effective or scientifically based.
“The development and integration of the standard set is going to change the way we measure progress through autism therapies in an objective way,” said Hopebridge Vice President of Clinical Services, Adam D. Hahs, PhD, BCBA-D.
“Historically, gains relative to autism have been idiosyncratic. We always want to have the individual’s best interest in mind, however, as we continue to think about the gains from various interventions on a larger scale, we need to speak the same language as to how we are assessing and measuring those gains. This standard set creates that foundation to relay the same language and compare between clinicians and organizations.”
Implementing ASDSS changes the way families can interact with providers—before determining which therapies, settings and providers are best for their child, caregivers can now ask providers if they have measurements that prove the efficacy of their services. For families, it’s a way to know their kiddos are receiving the best possible care available to them.
Alongside other providers and experts across the globe, Hopebridge Autism Therapy Centers sponsored ICHOM’s efforts with the intention of revolutionizing data-tracking and enhancing the way we measure the success of ABA therapy. Our main priority was to make sure everyone in the autism community gets the care they deserve.
“The creation of the ASDSS is the result of a lot of hard work from many of the world’s most talented and knowledgeable professionals in this field, and we’re happy our own experts were able to collaborate to create something so meaningful to the future of the autism community,” said Hopebridge CEO Dennis May.
During the consumer review period, a large group of external stakeholders from around the world validated the ASDSS. More than 85 percent of psychiatrists, psychologists, occupational therapists, applied behavior analysts and researchers approved the recommended outcomes, and 75 percent of stakeholders agreed with the recommended measures. Now that the set has been reviewed and finalized, clinicians are encouraged to begin implementing the ASDSS. ICHOM will work to gather data from implementation pilots that emerge across the globe to evaluate care outcomes and inform future iterations of this set of standards.
The ASDSS provides a set of recommendations for how treatment outcomes should be measured in clinical practice. It recommends measuring nine health outcomes covering four domains. These include:
Now that people with autism, along with their families and caregivers, have a way to make sure they are receiving the highest quality care, it also benefits autism treatment providers.
Want to learn more about how the ASDSS will enhance the standard of autism care? ICHOM will host a free webinar Monday, Oct. 4, 2021 at 11 a.m. EST to present the newly launched ASDSS. The virtual event will include a discussion around the project’s inception, ASDSS process, the final standard set, implementation of the standard on a global scale and how this will affect people with autism.
To register for the webinar or access a recording of the webinar, visit https://ichom.activehosted.com/f/420.
Are you interested in effective, evidence-based care for your child? If you’d like to learn more about Hopebridge’s options available to your child for ABA therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy, please fill out our easy online form to schedule a diagnostic or ABA evaluation at one of our centers across the country.
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