Funding for ABA
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an important intervention for helping students with autism improve communication and social skills, and reduce behaviors that interfere with learning.
It is imperative that students receive a sufficient amount of ABA to make appropriate progress. Based upon peer-reviewed research, the New York State Department of Health, Early Intervention Program website recommends that "effective interventions based on ABA techniques used between 18 and 40 hours per week of intensive behavioral interventions by a therapist trained in this method."
However, despite the clear need for a sufficient amount of ABA therapy provided by a trained therapist, parents often find that they are short-changed by the Early Intervention Program (for students who are under the age of 3) and their local school district (for students between the ages of 3-21). Too often, a recommendation is made for an insufficient amount of ABA hours -- or none at all.
The good news is that parents have recourse. It is possible to file for an impartial hearing challenging an inappropriate service recommendation. It is also possible to request compensatory/make up services from the agency to redress a past failure to provide appropriate services. Parents may be able to receive funding for an after school program that includes ABA services or funding for a private school where the student receives ABA during the day.
It is important for parents to know their rights and responsibilities when dealing with the Early Intervention Program or their local school district to ensure that their child with autism receives the appropriate amount of ABA by a qualified therapist.