What does ABA therapy "look like"?
ABA therapy includes many different "techniques". It is important to note that an effective ABA intervention is not a "cookie cutter" approach, and should never be presented as a "one size fits all" program. Rather, skilled therapists customize each child's program to build upon that child's individual needs, skills, and interests. Some common methods that may be used in combination or alone include: Direct Instruction, Discrete Trial Training (DTT), Incidental Teaching/Natural Environment Training (NET), Verbal Behavior Training, and group/peer social skills training. ABA therapy is focused on the use of positive reinforcement strategies. These strategies may be used to increase language and communication, improve attention, focus, social skills, memory, and academics.
What is a "BCBA"?
BCBA stands for Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Effective use of ABA therapy requires special training by practitioners. In order to become board certified as a BCBA, a practitioner must hold at least a Master's degree and have completed additional post-graduate course work and practical experience in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. It is important to have the oversight and supervision of a BCBA for treatment of children with Autism. It is essential that ABA practitioners have proper training, credentials, and experience.
Does my child need a diagnosis in order to receive ABA therapy?
ABA methodologies have been used as effective means of behavior change and learning across a variety of populations. However, most insurance companies require a diagnosis of Autism or PDD-NOS in order to cover ABA therapy services. A diagnosis is generally made by a pediatric neurologist, developmental pediatrician, child psychiatrist, or child psychologist specializing in the diagnosis of Autism.
Are services covered by Medicaid?
Recent changes to Colorado Medicaid have made ABA therapy a covered service for all children under the age of 21 that are diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and many other children in need of behavioral therapy services. A referral from a physician is required.