[Note: Shared for #AutisticHistory archive purposes. This is NOT An Autistic Ally.]
Our mission is to inspire and empower individuals with developmental disabilities and those who support them: Rethink Autism, Inc.
Behavior analysis focuses on the principles that explain how learning takes place. Positive reinforcement is one such principle. When a behavior is followed by some sort of reward, the behavior is more likely to be repeated. Through decades of research, the field of behavior analysis has developed many techniques for increasing useful behaviors and reducing those that may cause harm or interfere with learning. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the use of these techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior.
Today, ABA is widely recognized as a safe and effective treatment for Autism. Established in 2007, Rethink was founded to address the significant challenge of how to effectively and affordably meet the treatment needs of this enormous and growing population worldwide with a significant dearth of trained professionals.
The Company determined that the only way to deliver clinical best practice treatment in a scalable way was to leverage technology to train whoever was caring for the individual with the developmental disability how to deliver the treatment. This would impact all the entities revolving around the care of this population, including in the school, in the home, and in the healthcare system. Rethink noted extensive research on the effectiveness of video modeling for training in fields such as medicine and the military and decided to combine this proven method of instruction with the proven and medically-recommended ABA treatment methodology, creating an online training and support system for individuals with a developmental disability and their caregivers worldwide.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 6 newborn children will be diagnosed with a developmental disability (such as autism), making such conditions more common than pediatric cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the main treatment methodology recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the US Surgeon General and the US National Institutes of Mental Health for treating individuals with developmental disabilities such as autism. However, the highly limited availability of credentialed ABA providers – only approximately 25,000 Board Certified Behavior Therapists worldwide – severely limits its potential benefit for the hundreds of millions of individuals globally with such disorders. Limited public support services, including in the education and healthcare systems, further amplify this challenge.
The Rethink program includes a comprehensive online individualized treatment program for developmental disabilities (such as autism) with over 1,500 video-based demonstrations – developed by internationally-recognized experts in the field – to train caregivers, parents, professional and paraprofessional staff how to teach an individual critical skills as well as manage a range of problem behaviors. Automated data-based reports track progress in real time, facilitate coordination across care team members, and allow for robust data analytics on outcomes. In addition, Program Specialists can also utilize Rethink as a form of job-embedded professional development and to augment coaching caregivers and other support staff. Rethink also offers a range of technology-enabled remote service options, ranging from short-term web-based consultations with Rethink’s Board-certified behavioral therapists to ongoing program development initiatives supported by an in-house team of clinicians. Rethink serves individuals at all levels of development and ages ranging from point of diagnosis through early adulthood, covers a broad range of skills (e.g., academics, language, social, motor, daily living, behavior management), and spans the entire spectrum from severely impaired through high-functioning individuals. The award-winning cloud-based platform is fully mobile-optimized and can be used on smartphones (iOS-, Android- and Amazon-based), tablets, netbooks, laptops and computers. Rethink is a robust, scalable and easy-to-implement treatment and support program.
The Rethink program covers millions of lives and is being implemented by government agencies (including the United States Department of Defense to provide its program as a standard across military bases worldwide), public and private health organizations, Fortune 500 corporations, public school districts, and families across the United States and around the world.
One of the earliest challenges faced by the Company involved securing buy-in from the clinical/academic community that a technology-driven solution could be applied by a caregiver to an issue that historically was addressed solely on-site by a trained and certified clinician. To help meet this challenge, the Company made sure to involve leading clinicians and academics in the development of the program as well as secure the support of leading advocacy groups and not-for-profits in the space.
Today, through its three divisions, each with distinct versions of its online platform, Rethink is the leading software platform serving the three key market segments that offer care to individuals with developmental disabilities:
Education – Rethink offers the industry-leading special needs management platform for public school districts. Serving all students with a special need as well as those requiring behavior support, the Rethink program is used by hundreds of districts in all 50 states, ranging from large urban systems like New York City, San Francisco, Dallas, Denver and others, down to small rural districts. The Rethink program allows districts to fully meet Federal IDEA requirements as well as a variety of state-based legislative mandates to provide an adequate education to students with a special need. The program also helps districts train staff and accurately measure the progress of a student population not subject to mainstream standardized testing. District clients have reported superior student outcomes and significant cost savings in mitigating the need for out of district placements than can run up to $100,000 per year per student for private programs.
Employee Benefits – Rethink offers the industry-leading training and support platform for employees caring for dependents with a developmental disability. Rethink’s clients range from employers with under 1000 employees to over 500,000 employees, and across its book of business, Rethink covers over 7 million lives. Research clearly demonstrates the impact of caring for a dependent with a developmental disability – from over twice the rates of anxiety and depression to thousands of dollars annually in lost productivity. Indeed, over half of caregivers work fewer hours or leave the workforce to accommodate the needs of their child.
Behavioral Health – Rethink offers the industry-leading practice management platform for behavioral health providers specializing in individuals with autism and related disorders. Used by hundreds of providers serving thousands of children nationwide, the software helps improve treatment outcomes by simplifying/automating workflows, improving staff training, and ensuring standardization and clinical fidelity of care delivery.
Managed Care – In addition to the above three areas, Rethink is partnering with some of the nation’s largest managed care organizations to improve the delivery of care in the behavioral health arena. By deploying its software across the value chain (health plan → provider → member), Rethink helps prevent fraud, waste & abuse; control costs; and ensure clinical best practice delivery of care to drive improved treatment outcomes. In addition, such a broad deployment of the Rethink program across the healthcare system allows for the capture of outcomes data across the population of individuals with developmental disabilities. Such data currently does not exist and the information captured by Rethink can be analyzed to develop treatment protocols as well allow for the predictability of outcomes to better manage risk, all of which cannot be done accurately today in the field of behavioral health.
Rethink constantly learns from its customers and develops new products and services to better serve them. Such learning helps drive its product roadmap and helps ensure that it continues to grow. For Rethink, the sky’s the limit. With roughly 450 million individuals with a developmental disability globally, there is a tremendous need for the Company’s program and it looks forward to continuing to expand around the world to be the program supporting this population and their caregivers no matter where they are located.
Meet the bright spark of Rethink: Mr. Etra, Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Etra currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Rethink. With over two decades of successful international business experience, including 15 years as a serial entrepreneur, Mr. Etra was a Co-Founder & CEO of R.E.R. International, a global supplier of printed materials to the retail industry. He was a Consultant at Bain & Company, helping establish their NY office and also served as a Managing Director of Promodex Ltd., an importer and distributor of consumer appliances and industrial equipment in the Middle East.
Mr. Etra has won numerous awards including the Inc. 500 Award and the SmartCEO Future 50 Award. He is also a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). Mr. Etra has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Yale University. Born and raised in New York City, he is active in variety of children’s causes and volunteers with organizations such as NY Cares and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
“We are a robust, scalable and easy-to-implement treatment and support program.”
“Our platform connects through data a network of stakeholders across a continuum of care.”
More With ReThink Autism
Autistic people have fought the inclusion of ABA in therapy for us since before Autism Speaks, and other non-Autistic-led autism organizations, started lobbying legislation to get it covered by insurances and Medicaid.
ABA is a myth originally sold to parents that it would keep their Autistic child out of an institution. Today, parents are told that with early intervention therapy their child will either be less Autistic or no longer Autistic by elementary school, and can be mainstreamed in typical education classes. ABA is very expensive to pay out of pocket. Essentially, Autism Speaks has justified the big price tag up front will offset the overall burden on resources for an Autistic’s lifetime. The recommendation for this therapy is 40 hours a week for children and toddlers.
The original study that showed the success rate of ABA to be at 50% has never been replicated. In fact, the study of ABA by United States Department of Defense was denounced as a failure. Not just once, but multiple times. Simply stated: ABA doesn’t work. In study after repeated study: ABA (conversion therapy) doesn’t work.
What more recent studies do show: Autistics who experienced ABA therapy are at high risk to develop PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions. Historically, the autism organizations promoting ABA as a cure or solution have silenced Autistic advocates’ opposition. ABA is also known as gay conversion therapy.
The ‘cure’ for Autistics not born yet is the prevention of birth.
The ‘cure’ is a choice to terminate a pregnancy based on ‘autism risk.’ The cure is abortion. This is the same ‘cure’ society has for Down Syndrome.
This is eugenics 2021. Instead of killing Autistics and disabled children in gas chambers or ‘mercy killings’ like in Aktion T4, it’ll happen at the doctor’s office, quietly, one Autistic baby at a time. Different approaches yes, but still eugenics and the extinction of an entire minority group of people.
Fact: You can’t cure Autistics from being Autistic.
Fact: You can’t recover an Autistic from being Autistic.
Fact: You can groom an Autistic to mask and hide their traits. Somewhat. … however, this comes at the expense of the Autistic child, promotes Autistic Burnout (this should not be confused with typical burnout, Autistic Burnout can kill Autistics), and places the Autistic child at high risk for PTSD and other lifelong trauma-related conditions.
[Note: Autism is NOT a disease, but a neurodevelopmental difference and disability.]
Fact: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.