ABA Therapy: Is It Right for Your Child?
ABA therapy is a relatively new area of practice, but it’s widely recognized by pediatric specialists as a highly effective form of early intervention for children on the autism spectrum.
ABA – short for applied behavior analysis – is a type of one-on-one behavior therapy that’s based on learning theories. It helps boost a child’s independence and overall quality of life – short-term and long-term – by providing evidence-based guidance and support for the development of social and emotional skills. Unexpected or dangerous behaviors are reduced, while helpful/expected behaviors are positively reinforced.
Experts have concluded the earlier it starts, the more effective it is. Ideally, kids will begin ABA somewhere between ages 2 and 5, though it’s not unheard of for a child to start younger or a bit older.
While many children may struggle with “behavior issues,” ABA therapy is uniquely reserved for children with specific diagnoses for which this intensive, interpersonal therapy has proven beneficial. It’s considered the “gold standard” for autism treatment, but can also be great for helping children with conditions like Down syndrome or global developmental delay.
Insurance companies in Florida are required by law to cover medically necessary therapies – including ABA therapy – for children with autism, Down Syndrome, and other “eligible” conditions, though the exact diagnostic codes that would qualify a child aren’t expressly defined in the statute. What we can say is that kids who do not have a diagnosis of autism, Down syndrome, or developmental delay will have a tougher time securing insurance coverage.
We know this can be a bit confusing for families. At FOCUS, we’re committed to providing the best answers and insight we can, and to helping parents navigate this process.
FOCUS Therapy offers ABA therapy and ADOS testing to children in Lee County, Florida. Call (239) 313.5049 or Contact Us online.