Making ABA Therapy accessible and affordable

Guiding Technologies Corporation (GTC) is a startup to translate four years of research into a solution with great societal benefit: helping individuals with autism reach their full potential at less cost. GTC’s flagship product, GAINS™ (Guidance, Assessment and Information System) is a software application for mobile devices that reduces training of therapy providers from two years to almost zero so that anyone with a smart phone can be coached step by step to provide quality therapy. In addition GAINS™ facilitates coordination among therapy providers, improves the consistency of ABA therapy, enables supervisors to better manage therapy programs, and, through easy data collection, makes therapy progress transparent to payers.

GAINS™ dramatically reduces training time for ABA therapy providers, allowing them to quickly perform at a high level. This reduces training costs for therapy service providers and parents while simultaneously improving coordination, consistency, program fidelity, and therapy transparency.

Autism affects more than 70 million worldwide (>1% of the world’s population). Early, quality therapy can help many with autism improve their IQs, mainstream into educational classrooms and enjoy more fulfilled lives. Without early, quality treatment, there is virtually no chance of this. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is the most effective and scientifically validated approach to remediate the deficits of autism. In ABA, skills are broken down into small steps, practiced through intensive one-on-one therapy sessions, performance is measured continuously by direct observation, and the intervention is modified accordingly. Most states mandate that insurance companies cover ABA therapy. DOD's Tricare covers ABA therapy.

Ideally a team of therapy providers consisting of certified behavior analysts, less-skilled therapists, educational assistants, and parents provides therapy throughout the day, every day, in formal and natural settings. Unfortunately the reality for many is a hodgepodge of autism services that parents piece together to provide help for their children. These services are paid for by parents, governmental entities (school systems, SSI, Medicaid), and insurance companies. Therapy providers are mostly trained through the apprenticeship model with a training therapist guiding the therapy-provider-in-training, step-by-step. This is very expensive because for each unit of therapy time, there are two persons involved: the training therapist and the therapy-provider-in-training. This expense limits training time and therefore many therapy providers are not adequately trained—it can take up to two years, and high turnover exacerbates problems and costs in developing a cadre of highly qualified therapy providers. In addition, therapy providers do not sufficiently coordinate and provide inconsistent therapy, which limits therapeutic value. Even when quality therapy is available, average cost across the US is approximately $48,000 per year, but can be much higher depending on the geographic area and needs of the individual with autism.