Getting a new autism diagnosis can raise many questions. Among the most pressing of these questions is how to get funding for therapy. Navigating information on the various financing sources can be confusing and time consuming. However, the good news is, that you’re not alone. Here are a few tips on how to successfully, and quickly, get funding for the interventions that will make a difference.
3 Ways to get funding for ABA
1. Funding through insurance: In 2011, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 946 into law. This bill requires health care insurance companies to provide behavioral services to children who have been diagnosed with autism. In basic terms, this law makes it so that autism is treated in the same manner as other medical diagnoses. This law went into effect in July of 2012. If you have specific questions about insurance, we’re here to help. Click here to connect with us, now. If you have questions about ABA coverage, speak with your HR department or insurance representative.
2. Funding through the regional center: The California Department of Developmental Disabilities coordinates treatment for individuals diagnosed with autism through their network of 21 nonprofit regional centers. To be eligible for services, the person must be diagnosed with autism before the age of 18. Eligibility is then determined through diagnoses and assessments performed at a Regional Center location. In addition to diagnosis and assessment, the regional center offers counseling, family support, and other services. Importantly, because the law mandates that insurance companies cover autism intervention services, the Regional Center requires you to show proof that your insurance company denied you support. So, your first step is to go the insurance route and then use the Regional Center if you’re not covered.
3. Funding through your school district: If you haven’t already heard the term “IEP” (individualized education program) yet, you should become familiar. The IEP is an individualized learning plan, developed by a team of specialists at your child’s school. The process of developing an IEP will determine realistic goals for your child and the assignment of appropriate resources so she or he can meet these objectives.
If your child is 3, or older, and has been diagnosed with a disability, your IEP should be in place. The IEP is governed by a federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and says that each child is entitled to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE.) Typically, services are provided for one year and can be renewed.
Often, parents will secure in-school and at-home services. To get the most impactful results, these various providers can coordinate efforts.
What are the next steps?
Once you have funding in place, your team of behavior clinicians should evaluate your child’s needs and your goals. There are many methods that are employed to make these determinations. Connect with one of our Board Certified Behavior Analysts to learn more.