For most parents, the world of autism brings many new questions. What is autism? What options are available for my child? Does my insurance cover ABA therapy? Below are some common questions we hear from parents, and some information we hope is helpful. In addition to the FAQs below, if you’d like to talk to one of our experienced clinicians, please give us a call. We are here to help.
What is autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is developmental disability referring to a broad range of behavioral characteristics. Autism can create barriers in learning language, social skills, self-help skills, and a variety of other skills.
Autism is known as a “spectrum” disorder because there is a wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms people with autism experience. According to the Center for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 54 children in the United States. Autism occurs in all age, gender, ethnic, racial, and economic groups.
What is ABA therapy?
ABA therapy (Applied Behavior Analysis therapy), is an evidence-based therapy that can improve communication, social skills, self-help skills, and a variety of learning skills through positive reinforcement. At Early Autism Services, much of our positive reinforcement comes through active play-based learning.
ABA therapy is considered evidence-based, and best practice for treating autism by the US Surgeon General and by the American Psychological Association. ABA therapy has passed the scientific tests necessary to confirm its usefulness, quality, and effectiveness.
How can ABA therapy help my child?
ABA therapy (Applied Behavior Analysis therapy), is based on the science of learning and behavior. It can be used to help children with autism build important sets of skills across a variety of areas. These include: fine & gross motor, language & communication, self-help, social skills and more.
As children develop, they begin to build a foundation of these skills. Unfortunately, autism creates many challenges for children in these areas. Because of this, many children benefit from early intervention through ABA therapy.
What's better? In-Home or Center-Based therapy?
EAS provides both in-home and center based ABA therapy for children with autism and their families. While both programs focus on many of the same skills, it’s important to understand the differences, and why some environments are more beneficial than others for each child. In some circumstances, a hybrid model of the two might be most beneficial.
In-Home ABA Therapy
ABA therapy in the natural setting such as a home and day care is typically preferred as it allows the team to work with your child where their behaviors and skill deficits are occurring. This typically results in your child better learning the skills and generalizing skills outside of therapy sessions as well.
Center-Based ABA Therapy
While In-Home therapy is typically the recommended setting, at times a child needs ABA therapy in a more structured setting that can be controlled to better address maladaptive behaviors or skill deficits.
This can include children who are easily distracted or who have behaviors that require a more intensive/structured program. Sessions in the clinic do allow for goals to be targeted with peers in a structured setting that allows clients to build social skills.
At Early Autism Services, our clinic program is a hybrid model which includes sessions both in the clinic and at home. This ensures that progress is generalized and transferred over into the natural setting. It also allows for parents to participate in sessions and to learn with their child to be able to implement strategies outside of sessions to ensure consistency and progress.
Does my insurance cover ABA therapy?
One of the major concerns that families have when they begin looking into ABA Therapy programs is: “How will I pay for my child’s therapy?” We make the insurance process easy.
Over the past several years, many states have passed insurance mandates that require policies through in-state private insurance companies to cover ABA therapy. However, there are many exceptions to this rule, and without significant experience navigating the world of insurance and autism therapy, it can be hard to determine whether you are receiving accurate information.
We have a firm understanding of insurance law, and the policies of the major insurance companies. We have worked with every type of insurance policy: HMO, PPO, fully-funded, self-funded, group, individual, in-state, out-of-state, private or federal policy. Chances are, we accept it. If not, we will help you understand what options are available for you and your child. So relax, our team will guide you through the entire process.
Does my child need a formal diagnosis to receive ABA therapy?
While children are not required to have a formal Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis to receive ABA therapy services, a diagnosis is required for services to be covered by all insurance plans.
If you are just getting started, and have concerns that your child might have Autism Spectrum Disorder, the first step is to talk to your child’s pediatrician. They can help connect you with resources to schedule an assessment. From that point, if your child receives a formal autism diagnosis, your insurance plan is likely to cover ABA therapy services.
If you have any questions about the process, please give our team a call. We are happy to help you navigate this process.
Who will work with my child?
If your child receives services at EAS. They will be under the care of a team of experienced clinicians. The primary clinician your child will work with each day will be either a Behavior Technician (BT) or a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT).
Your child’s program will be monitored by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) who supervises your child’s BT or RBT.
Above your child’s BCBA or BCaBA, will be a Clinical Director, who is the senior clinician in your region. All of our Clinical Directors are Board Certified Behavior Analysts with years of experience building and supervising programs for children with autism.
To learn more about the clinical positions within the field of ABA therapy, please visit the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s website at www.bacb.com.
The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® (BACB®) has been the leader in behavior analyst certification for over two decades. The BACB is a nonprofit corporation that was established in 1998 to meet professional certification needs identified by behavior analysts, governments, and consumers of behavior-analytic services.