ABCs of Autism Therapies for Parents
Have a question about autism therapies? This page is here to help you understand all the basics you’ll need—the ABCs of what we do and how it helps your child.
Click on a title below to learn more about it.
A is for Apple provides Applied Behavior Analysis, Speech-Language Pathology and Occupational Therapy to children ages 0 through early teens, with an emphasis on Early Intervention.
When you arrive for your first appointment, we’ll bring you through the following process:
- First, we find out what your needs are.
- Second, we verify your insurance.
- Next we do the necessary treatment plans and/or assessments with your child.
- We submit the assessment reports to your insurance, and get authorization to proceed.
- Then we start services for your child.
0-3 – At this age, getting a diagnosis as early as possible is recommended. That way we can start therapy while the child is still very young, and most open to behavior improvement. Early intervention takes advantage of the plasticity of a young child’s brain. From there, an ongoing ABA program establishes behaviors that will support your child’s social and communication skills. Speech-language therapy can also help them build stronger use of language. If needed, Occupational Therapy will help the child with learning motor skills so they can play and participate in daily activities.
3-Early Teens – During these years, it’s important to build on the social and communication skills established by earlier therapy. Often parents will encourage the child to explore their interests and socialize, so they can further integrate their therapy into daily living. Sports or after-school activities are common.
We use all of the recommended evaluation methods, including: Standardized test batteries, parent interviews, observations, & formal assessments. Informal assessments are conducted as needed.
Applied Behavior Analysis services are done in a natural living environment, whether that’s the child’s home, school or community. Speech-Language Pathology and Occupational Therapy are done in the clinic, if billed through insurance.
Senate Bill 946 requires insurance providers in California to pay for ABA services for children diagnosed with ASD. Some exceptions may apply, such as “Self-funded” plans. In most cases, Speech-Language therapy and Occupational therapy are covered as well. Our Intake Department can assist you in determining if your child is covered for our services.
A is for Apple, Inc. is currently in network with the following insurance providers:
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- HealthNet (Autism Services Group)
- Kaiser Permanente
- Magellan Healthcare (Blue Shield ABA)
- Optum (United Healthcare ABA)
- Tri-West Healthcare Alliance (United Healthcare Military & Veterans ABA)
- United Healthcare
- Valley Health Plan (VHP) (Medi-Cal Kids)
Please visit our Insurance page for more details & help with your coverage.
ABA stands for “Applied Behavior Analysis.” Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy is a highly-developed method of treatment for children with autism and other developmental disabilities. ABA is backed by decades of scientific research, which helped to establish standards of treatment for children and young adults.
In some cases, therapy for autism disorders only lasts a couple years. The child learns what they need and grows into a happy, well-adjusted individual. In other cases, the child may need lifelong treatment & assistance. This depends on the severity of the disorder and their progress over time. If you have concerns, your A is For Apple supervisor will be happy to address them.
A Functional Behavioral Assessments/FBA helps determine a reason or function for a child’s problematic behavior. For instance, several common reasons a child will use a certain behavior are:
- To escape or avoid something
- To gain attention
- To gain access to an item or activity they want
- To alter their present sensory stimulation
An FBA’s goal is to:
- Identify and define the problematic behavior.
- Identify the events and situations that predict when said behavior will occur (and won’t occur).
- Determine what results do occur, and whether these results might contribute to the problematic behavior.
- Determine an appropriate alternative, positive behavior.
- Establish a hypothesis that will be used to create a plan guiding the child toward the positive behavior.
Parents are required to attend & participate in their child’s therapy sessions. This ensures carryover of the child’s progress for generalization of newly-learned skills.
Our parent educators may also refer families to other helpful resources in order to help them address their child’s needs. These may include reference guides, online tools or other experts with whom we have working relationships.
NOTE: Our parent educators are not legal advocates, nor do they represent themselves as “professional experts” in Autism or in any related field to Autism. Therefore, all legal questions will be referred to a licensed and credentialed law professional.
The primary determinant between an IFSP (Individual Family Service Plan) and an IEP (Individual Education Plan) is the child’s age. A child under the age of 3 who needs early intervention services and is referred through a Regional Center, will come with an IFSP.
If a child is older than 3 and referred by a Regional Center, they will come with an IEP, an Individual Education Plan.
To learn more about how we approach working with children, visit our Learning Approach page.