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Fresno State Graduate Program Offers Virtual Support for Those With Autism

The widespread suspensions of in-person schooling, day programs, and essential services caused by Coronavirus have been especially trying for many families who have children with autism spectrum disorder. Since 2009, Fresno State University has offered an Applied Behavior Analysis master’s degree program. Working at Fresno State’s Focused Behavioral Services, graduate students are given valuable hands-on experience working with children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). With strict social distancing measures and quarantines in effect, Focused Behavioral Services has been providing its services virtually, retaining services for 90% of its clients. According to a report this month by Merced County Times.com, Focused Behavioral Services has loaned iPads to families without smartphones or a computer. Students have also been provided with additional resources, supervision, and training to help them work with clients remotely. “Focused Behavioral Services has served hundreds of families in the Central Valley over the last 10 years, and we are proud to continue to do so, virtually, throughout the current coronavirus crisis,” Dr. Marianne Jackson, Focused Behavioral Services clinical director, was quoted as saying. “Our students and staff continue to gain relevant experience while supporting individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders in the local community.” “Due to Covid-19, Focused Behavioral Services has shifted to provide telehealth services via Zoom, FaceTime, phone calls, videos, etc.,” Abril Giselle Lopez Cervantes Change, a first year graduate student in the program, said. “Change can be hard for a lot of our clients. We’ve taken this into consideration and are happy that we can continue to provide parents with useful tools. Focused Behavioral Services will continue to provide the best quality of services and support to our families during this uncertain time.” Source: https://mercedcountytimes.com/fresno-state-graduate-program-virtually-supports-those-affected-by-autism/

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