Promising Practice

Early Intervention Caregiver and Provider Support Services (EI-CAPSS)

State/Jurisdiction: Tennessee
Setting: Community Rural Urban Home-Based Day Care/Preschool
Population: Child Health, Family Care
Topic Area: Telehealth,

As the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) has continued to rise, Part C systems have seen an increasing demand for autism-focused diagnostic and early intervention services. However, numerous barriers impact families’ access to care, even for those families actively engaged in their Part C system. Due to the limited availability of diagnostic providers outside of larger cities or communities, access to these specialty evaluations often requires significant travel and/or time spent on a waitlist for an appointment. Furthermore, therapies recommended for most children at the time of ASD diagnosis (i.e., Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) provided under the direction of a board certified and licensed behavior analyst) are similarly difficult to obtain due to provider availability. Addressing these barriers requires creative approaches that leverage both existing service systems and novel tools for reaching families. This partnership has resulted in innovative programming that provides families access to tele-diagnostic evaluations for ASD and brief, focused education and support opportunities. Additionally, EI CAPSS aims to support Part C providers through collaborative service provision and ongoing professional development opportunities to continually increase the capacity of local providers.

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