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Autism TeleECHO: Improving behavioral health care in rural New Mexico

Check out this great blog about a virtual learning clinic Autism Speaks funded through our Local Grants program! This clinic was able to reach many rural, underserved populations and teach them best practices in the field. 

As part of their mission to enhance access and increase capacity of ABA services in underserved, rural communities, Behavior Change Institute  recently launched  ECHO Autism in Applied Behavior Analysis, a virtual learning clinic for behavior analysts, technicians and ancillary care providers throughout the country. The pilot project funded by Autism Speaks is a collaboration between Behavior Change Institute, the University of New Mexico's Project ECHO and the University of Missouri, Thompson Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

Through case presentations and didactic presentations, clinicians are learning best practice care coordination from a multidisciplinary team, which includes a Developmental Pediatrician, Licensed Psychologist, Licensed Independent Social Worker, Healthcare Administrator, Parent, and Doctoral Level Board Certified Behavior Analysts Hub Panelists. 

ECHO Panelist, Dr. Pollard, BCBA-D shared “ECHO Clinics are beneficial for BCBAs of all levels. Newly certified Behavior Analysts can join the clinic to collaborate with other behaviors analysts and troubleshoot cases, while more senior clinicians share their expertise and experience with participants.” 

Dr. Monica Mejia, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, recently presented a case during an ECHO Autism and shared “After consulting with several colleagues on a complex case of ASD, it was recommended that I  present my case at an ECHO Autism virtual clinic. I have since had the opportunity to participate in several virtual learning clinics and recommend it highly to any behavior analyst working through challenges in their clinical practice! The ECHO community was incredibly supportive and insightful, offering valuable recommendations and resources. I have been able to apply many of the recommendations given and am pleased to report that I am already observing positive clinical outcomes!” Following a case presentation, Arlette Bujanda, BCaBA shared that the Hub ECHO Panelists have “established such a welcoming learning environment, everyone I interfaced with was so friendly and professional, which made for such an amazing experience!”

Participants in the audience are also reporting a positive experience, sharing, “I took away from the ECHO Autism were the questions asked by the social worker regarding when parents involved and successful at implementing behavior plans” and “I have learned that we should always reinforce the medical professionals who provide us with paperwork. We often forget about them!” While the program was developed to target Behavior Analysts, the ECHO Autism team has been excited to see engagement from healthcare administrators and care coordinators. “As an administrator at an ABA provider agency, having an intimate glimpse into the clinical world was extremely helpful in broadening my understanding of obstacles and barriers our staff and clients encounter. I left better armed to provide support to our staff which will, I hope, help them implement successful treatment to our clients.”

ECHO Autism in ABA is welcoming all ABA and ancillary care providers to attend and would love to invite you to an upcoming clinic! If you're interested, please sign up at to receive clinic details and access information! 

The Autism Speaks blog features opinions from people throughout the autism community. Each blog represents the point of view of the author and does not necessarily reflect Autism Speaks' beliefs or point of view.