If your child gets diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it can be an overwhelming time for you and your family. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about 1 in 44 children are diagnosed with Autism. ASD is more than 4 times more common in boys than among girls. Autism does not discriminate against race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic groups.
One of the most common forms of therapy to treat Autism Spectrum Disorder is ABA therapy or Applied Behavior Analysis. ABA can be easily described as the science of behavior that is observable and measurable. ABA therapy can help with developing social skills that a child may be lacking, improving communication skills, and helping to limit bad behavior. ABA therapy provides us with data to help track how the therapy is working and what may need to be changed.
Once your doctor has diagnosed your child with ASD, and ABA therapy is recommended, there are a few steps that will need to happen and reports that will need to be gathered. Here at LEAP Autism Therapy, we understand that all of this can be stressful so we want to layout everything that you will need to get your child the therapy they need. In this post, we will go over 4 areas that can help make the process of getting treatment for your child go a little smoother and quicker.
Call Your Insurance Company
Most major companies will cover some, if not most of ABA therapy. Depending on what kind of plan you have, will determine how many hours of therapy will be covered. Be sure to also call your secondary insurance company if you have one to see if they will cover any of the treatment that your primary insurance company will not.
Gather All The Required Paperwork
Before a child can receive any therapy, they must go through an assessment process with a qualified therapist to determine their individualized treatment plan. One of the major components of the assessment process is meeting with the patient but also looking over previous reports and written assessments. ABA therapist will look at the following documents to help create an individualized treatment plan for your child:
Diagnostic Evaluation - The report shows the testing that was conducted to determine an ASD diagnosis by the doctor.
Physician’s Letter - A short letter from the doctor who diagnosed your child stating BOTH an ASD diagnosis and that ABA services are recommended. This letter should be dated no more than 6 months from when you start looking for services.
Individualized Education Plan (IEP) - This is the report from the school your child is currently attending.
Copy of your Insurance Card - This is important to have so any billing for the assessment and treatment can go directly to your insurance company.
Ask your doctor if Home or Center-Based ABA Services is recommended.
ABA Therapy can be provided in the home or at a center. The difference depends on what areas of the child’s needs must be focused on.
Center-Based ABA allows for highly structured learning. It can also eliminate distractions that can be found in the home while learning in predictable environments. Center-Based ABA can also help develop a child’s social skills because you can host more children at a time.
Home-Based ABA allows skills to be taught in the environment they are likely to occur. This is also called natural environment training. Children can practice activities such as washing their hands, brushing their teeth, making their bed, or preparing food. These activities are called activities of daily living or ADLs.
Research Therapy Center’s in Your Area
Once it is determined if your child needs Home or Center-Based ABA therapy, you can now research ABA Centers that are in your city. When you find a place that seems to fit what you are looking for, feel free to ask them as many questions as you want. Some things you might want to ask:
What are the days and hours they provide services?
Is there a waitlist for services?
Do they take your insurance?
How long does their assessment process take?
What paperwork is needed to start the intake process?
Where do you go to begin the intake process?
Getting an autism diagnosis can be stressful, especially if you don’t know what you need and what questions you need to ask. Being prepared with the above information and the right documents can help ease the stress and get your child into therapy quicker.
If you live in the Dallas, TX area and are looking for services for your child, we would love to talk with you. We have a new center opening in Duncanville, TX next month. Reach out to us to schedule an appointment.