Step 1: Find an ABA provider.
Your choice of ABA provider will have a great impact on your family’s future. We recommend you make the decision armed with as much information as you can collect. Whom does your diagnosing physician recommend? How do they compare to other providers in the area? While you alone are in the best position to decide which company is a best fit for your family, you may want to evaluate your prospective choices by looking at…
- How professional they are
- How the staff values and respects you and your family
- How knowledgeable they seem
- How qualified and passionate their staff are. Chemistry also matters! You’ll be in this together!
Step 2: Secure funding.
Not all insurance plans cover ABA therapy. Even though ABA benefits are state-mandated in Florida, there are some exceptions- such as plans that are managed outside of the state of Florida, or plans managed by companies with under 50 employees. The provider you are interested in will likely ask you for a copy of your insurance card to verify ABA benefits. PBS is usually able to get back to interested parents within 24 hours. If your insurance does cover ABA benefits, the provider will work with your insurer to obtain the necessary authorizations to provide services. A co-payment may be required. If your insurer does not cover ABA services, private plans are also available.
Remember that each provider may accept the plans of different insurance companies. For example, PBS accepts plans with the following companies: Aetna, Avmed, Beacon, Blue Cross, Cigna, Compsych, Carerisk, Gardiner Scholarship, Magellan, United and Valued Options.
Step 3: Begin ABA therapy.
It’s good to have a general understanding of what to expect with ABA services. PBS clients, for example, will see the following: Intake– This is where we gather information about your family. We go over our policies with you, answer any of your questions, and start evaluating the right pairing of therapists for your needs.
Assessment – PBS uses the assessment process to determine your child’s current level of functioning across a variety of areas: language, social skills, motor skills, self care skills, etc. We study your child’s personality, interests, and problem behaviors, via observation, parent interview, testing, or a combination of all of these methods.
Program Development aka “The BEHAVIOR Plan”: “The BEHAVIOR Plan” refers to the plan of action created for your child, based on the results of assessment. This plan of action includes instructional goals (e.g. language) as well as behavior goals. We create multiple goals for your child and explain all of the goals to you in a manner that is easily understandable to you, answering any specific questions you may have in simple, plain language.
Therapy sessions – By now, PBS therapists will be regularly coming to your home to work directly with your child. The schedule will be designed based on your needs and can be any time from 7 am until 9 pm, including weekends. Your therapist will come with objectives to be met, material ready to be reviewed and with new skills to be explored. You will also have regular meetings with your therapist’s supervisor to review progress and make any needed changes to the Plan.
You can also find a list of providers in South Florida who specialize in special needs families HERE.