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Ep. 98- Skill Acquisition, but Telehealth

show notes Sep 28, 2023

Resources mentioned in this episode

  1. Free 2 CEU course on Solving Clinical Challenges with Research-
  2. Peysin et al., 2023-

Please contact Matt @ [email protected] if you have any questions or if you need help accessing the full article!

Full Transcript (Click for downloadable copy)

The following blog post was written by Chat GPT after providing the full transcript and requesting an accompanying blog post. For more information about why and how I use Chat GPT, please see this accompanying blog post -> Why I use Chat GPT for my Show Notes (

Blog Post: Exploring Telehealth in Behavior Analysis - A Deep Dive into "The Behaviorist Bookclub" Podcast


Welcome to a comprehensive exploration of the podcast episode titled "The Behaviorist Bookclub." In this episode, host Matt Harrington delves into a thought-provoking article from "Behavior Analysis in Practice" by Peysin and colleagues in 2023. The article discusses an experimental comparison of in-person and remote instruction for preschoolers with disabilities. Harrington shares his insights and experiences as a former telehealth supervisor and dives into the intricacies of telehealth in behavior analysis.

In this blog post, we'll break down the key points discussed in the podcast, providing an in-depth analysis and expanding on the concepts explored. Let's take a closer look at the topics covered:

1. The Rise of Telehealth in Behavior Analysis

Harrington starts by acknowledging the growing prevalence of telehealth in behavior analysis. With the convenience and accessibility it offers, telehealth has gained traction even beyond the pandemic. He highlights that while some insurance companies are imposing restrictions on telehealth, its adoption remains steady due to the benefits it provides, especially for reaching clients in remote areas.

2. The Impact of Telehealth on Work-Life Balance

The host shares his personal experience transitioning from in-person to telehealth supervision. He talks about the positive influence of telehealth on his work-life balance during a time of significant life changes. Telehealth allowed him to remain present for his family while continuing to serve his clients effectively. This perspective sheds light on how telehealth can accommodate various life circumstances and needs of practitioners.

3. The Barriers and Challenges of Telehealth

Harrington presents a balanced viewpoint on telehealth's effectiveness. He acknowledges that quality ABA can be delivered through telehealth but also emphasizes the existence of significant barriers. Building relationships, rapport, and gaining buy-in from technicians and caregivers are identified as challenges that are harder to overcome via a computer screen. This insight prompts a discussion on the need for better addressing these barriers in telehealth service delivery.

4. Analyzing the Research Article

The podcast then delves into the research article that compares in-person and telehealth instruction for preschoolers with disabilities. The study focuses on skill acquisition targets, primarily related to DTT-style instruction and sight words. Harrington discusses the study's findings, which indicate that there was no substantial difference in acquisition rates between in-person and telehealth sessions.

5. Limitations and Future Research

The host identifies limitations in the study, particularly the prerequisites for participants, which might not reflect the diverse range of learners in behavior analysis. He calls for more nuanced research that explores a wider spectrum of learners and targets, including naturalistic teaching methods and caregiver training over telehealth.

6. Telehealth's Evolving Landscape

In conclusion, Harrington reiterates that telehealth is here to stay and advocates for refining its implementation by addressing the barriers and challenges. He emphasizes the importance of a hybrid model that combines in-person technicians with online BCBAs, as well as researching more flexible skill acquisition methods over telehealth.


The podcast episode "The Behaviorist Bookclub" provides valuable insights into the world of telehealth in behavior analysis. By critically examining the advantages, challenges, and research behind telehealth, the host encourages practitioners to embrace telehealth while pushing for further research and refinement in its application.

As telehealth continues to reshape the landscape of behavior analysis, it's crucial for practitioners to stay informed and adapt to the evolving trends. By leveraging the benefits of telehealth and addressing its limitations, behavior analysts can effectively deliver meaningful and socially significant behavior change to their clients, regardless of geographical constraints.


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