ARE YOU READY TO UNLOCK THE POTENTIAL OF YOUR CHILD WITH AUTISM?
Having your child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be overwhelming. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services include an evaluation, treatment plan, progress reports and evidence that the individual’s condition is improving. Research shows the best outcomes are achieved when children with ASD receive early, intensive programs 25-40 hours per week, every week, for up to three years. Early intervention ABA programs are designed to begin before age 4. That's why the Key Learning Autism Clinic (KLAC) is targeting children ages 2-8 to provide early, intensive intervention. The intervention is individualized and the child's age and current skills will help the Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) set treatment goals and number of hours recommended weekly. This quality ABA treatment program has been difficult to find because there are so few BCBAs. Parents have had to settle for significantly less ABA daily or weekly hours than recommended for successful treatment. Due to the high demand for BCBA's providing ABA therapy they typically are offering only monthly or weekly visits, often for as little as 30 minutes to 1 hour per week. This smaller amount of prescribed hours (10-15 hours per week) is typically used with children 8 years old and above, or for those who've already received early and intensive ABA therapy in the past. Another factor contributing to children with ASD receiving less than the 25-40 hours of weekly treatment recommended for progress is the expense. Private health insurance, CHIPS or Medicaid will pay for at least some of the ABA therapy but the remaining costs at 25-40 hours a week for three years can add up. One option to offset those costs is keeping your existing employer sponsored health insurance for your family but purchasing additional Marketplace health insurance plan for your child with autism. Although the price of dual coverage for a child or a child only insurance plan is challenging for families behavioral intervention is crucial.
It can be exhausting figuring out the logistics of financing 25-40 hours of ABA therapy and fitting it into your busy schedule. You can't afford to "wait and see". The 25-40 hours a week of early intervention ABA therapy is effective and changes lives for families and children with ASD. ABA is widely accepted by health care professionals, schools, the American Academy of Pediatrics and US Surgeon General just to name a few. Additional organizations that endorse ABA are linked here: https://appliedbehaviorcenter.com/aba-endorsements/ .
There are plenty of Autism websites that offer insurance advice and financial assistance programs. Search parent groups on Facebook and read testimonials online how ABA therapy changes lives. If you have questions or need additional resources please reach out to advocacy organizations and resources listed below:
- ACT Today! Autism Care and Treatment Today! is a nonprofit501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to increase access to effective autism treatments. Our goal is to help facilitate treatment by providing the necessary resources including funding, information and referrals to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) and their families. www.act-today.org
- The Mountaineer Autism Project (MAP) is a nonprofit organization of parents of children with autism and professionals in the autism field. MAP’s goal is to have one voice in West Virginia dedicated to early autism detection, diagnosis, and early intensive behavioral intervention.http://mountaineerautismproject.org/
- Birth to Three's goal to provide parents and professionals with resources that can assist them in providing outstanding care for their children with development delays.http://www.wvdhhr.org/birth23/
- West Virginia Department of Education: Office of Special Education purpose is to improve results for children and youth, primarily through leadership and financial support to local education agencieshttp://wvde.state.wv.us/osp/
- Disability Rights of West Virginia (DRWV) is the federally mandated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities in West Virginia. DRWV is a private, nonprofit agency. Our services are confidential and free of charge. https://www.drofwv.org/
- Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.https://www.autismspeaks.org/applied-behavior-analysis-aba-0