Frequently Asked Questions
What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and ABA Therapy?
Applied Behavior Analysis is the leading approach in improving the quality of life for children with autism. ABA uses strategies that break skills down into smaller, more manageable steps and teaches those skills using techniques like positive reinforcement. ABA Therapy focuses on increasing positive behaviors and functional skills while reducing behaviors that are harmful or interfere with learning.
How will ABA Therapy help my child?
ABA Therapy will assess and address skill deficits in many different areas. Several areas include using and understanding language, communicating wants and needs, social skills, play skills, potty training, self-care skills (washing hands, brushing teeth, etc.) and day-to-day living skills (dressing self, table manners, etc.).
Does ABA Therapy work for children with autism?
ABA Therapy is the gold standard for evidenced-based and research supported treatment for children with autism.
When is the best time for my child to begin ABA Therapy?
Now. Research has demonstrated that children who start ABA Therapy as early as possible (as early as 2 years of age) make the most significant improvements in their areas of deficit. In fact, children who received early intensive ABA Therapy have progressed to the point of being virtually indistinguishable from their peers.
Our doctor said that my child was a little slow in developing and that we should “wait and see”. Is this ok?
We stand by the “rule it out, don’t wait it out” model. It is possible that your child will develop their skills and overcome their developmental delays, but time is of the essence when it comes to overcoming the developmental deficits associated with autism. A child that begins therapy at a young age (2-5 years old) while still in the traditional “brain development” stage will have a higher likelihood of achieving positive long-term outcomes than a child that starts therapy at a much later age. There is no strict rule on age other than starting early intervention as soon as possible is most effective.
Are there different levels of treatment?
There are two levels of ABA treatment, Focused ABA Treatment and Comprehensive ABA Treatment. Focused ABA refers to treatment provided directly to the client for a limited number of key behavioral targets and generally ranges from 10-25 hours of therapy per.
Comprehensive ABA refers to treatment of multiple affected developmental areas, such as cognitive, communicative, social, emotional, and adaptive functioning. Disruptive behaviors, such as noncompliance, tantrums, and repetitive behavior are also typically the focus of treatment. In this intensive behavioral intervention the overarching goal is to close the gap between the client’s level of functioning and that of typically developing peers. These programs tend to range from 30-40 hours of treatment per week.
Isn’t the intensity of ABA Therapy per week too much for my child?
The purpose of the high intensity is to provide a child with structured intervention and many learning opportunities throughout the day to speed up learning. Typically developing children learn from the natural environment all of their waking hours. The purpose of an intensive program is to allow a child with autism to learn how to learn in the natural environment and ultimately catch up to his or her typically developing peers. The goal of an ABA Therapy program is to provide intensive services for the shortest duration of time rather than less intense services over a much longer duration.
My child is getting services from other professionals such as speech therapy and/or occupational therapy. Isn’t that enough?
At The Spectrum Center for Autism, we view these professionals as valuable resources, but not ones that necessarily provide the level of intensity necessary to overcome all of the deficits of a child diagnosed with autism. Many of these programs provide an hour or two of therapy per week as opposed to 20-40 hours per week with intensive ABA Therapy. We encourage collaboration with these service professionals in order to provide a comprehensive and cohesive treatment plan.
Are your employees Board Certified Behavior Analysts?
Both Abree and Sarah are Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). We train university students to become Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs). Both credentials (BCBA and RBT) have their own degree, coursework, supervised experience and exam requirements.
Does my child need to have a formal autism diagnosis to get treatment?
Children are not required to have an autism diagnosis for treatment, but they DO need a medical diagnosis in order for insurance providers to cover our services.
The Spectrum Center for Autism does not diagnosis, but we can guide you and give you suggestions if you are pursuing an evaluation for your child. A formal diagnosis from a medical professional is vital to getting your health insurance to cover our services.
Will my insurance company cover ABA Therapy?
Each insurance plan is different and must be thoroughly evaluated to determine whether or not coverage for Applied Behavior Analysis is provided. When speaking with your insurance provider, be certain to specifically ask if your plan covers autism AND Applied Behavior Analysis (as some plans cover an autism diagnosis, but do not cover ABA).
We currently accept clients with private insurance plans from BCBSNE and United HealthCare; as well as all Nebraska Medicaid insurance plans (WellCare, NE Total Care and United HealthCare Community Plan). We also accept private pay families.