In June of 2012 there was a major federal policy change that took place that provided more families living with autism access to Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy. Now, nearly all states require health insurance plans to cover ABA therapy.
Many people will agree that ABA therapy is something that can be done in a variety of environments, including a school environment, home environment and center-based environment. However, studies show that ABA is most effective when done 1 on 1 in an intensive, center-based environment.
Because ABA therapy is highly individualized and each program is uniquely designed for a child, it becomes difficult to implement these programs in a school environment. Schools often are dealing with budget and staffing constraints which makes it challenging to implement ABA therapy in a school setting.
A center-based program also allows children to interact with other children and therapists, work on not only social and communication skills, but also daily living skills, and it provides the opportunity to work on further “real world” situations outside of the classroom.
So what are some factors you should consider when looking for an ABA center?
Safe and welcoming environment
Educated staff (credentials and experience as well as passion matter)
BCBA caseload size
Always request a tour and ask about the process for enrollment. See if they offer assistance to the family such as support groups and education.
Autism Live is an interactive web show that provides support, information, resources, facts, entertainment and inspiration to parents, practitioners and teachers that work with children on the Autism Spectrum.
They have started a petition, petitioning the Honorable Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The point of the petition is to make sure that Applied Behavior Analysis is kept for individuals with Autism. The Affordable Care Act could actually result in individuals with ASD getting less coverage.
The reason this is important, Congress had directed Secretary Sebelius to define ten essential health benefits that make up the minimum insurance coverage required by the Affordable Care Act. Secretary Sebelius, instead of defining them on her own, directed each state to define the essential health benefits. This move puts in jeopardy existing health care coverage that those with Autism have and overlooked that intent of the coverage, as it is meant to cover vulnerable populations.
Applied Behavioral Analysis is the only Autism therapy that is endorsed by the US Surgeon General. They endorse it because decades of research support the fact that it works.
ABA therapy at LAC is conducted in a 1:1 setting (1 therapist working with 1 child). Each child goes through an in depth assessment conducted by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and other clinical team members to determine their current skill set and what skills might be improved upon.
Give us a call today to see how Lighthouse Autism Center can help your child with Autism reach his or her fullest potential.