by Jessyi Reed
on April 30, 2015
My child has autism. Now what do I do? This is one of the most common questions parents of children with autism ask themselves. This is also a question we hear all the time. Finding a service provider qualified to provide Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services can be a daunting task, especially when you live in a state with limited resources. This task can be even more difficult when you live in a state with limited insurance coverage for ABA services. Fortunately, Mississippi now requires that insurance companies offer this coverage. While this is very exciting news, the question of how to find a qualified ABA service provider still remains.
One way to find a qualified service provider in your area is to visit the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB) website and search for service providers in your area. The BACB website contains a list of all Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA). It also allows you to search nationwide for service providers in different areas.
Another way to find qualified service providers is to visit the Autism Speaks website. They have a very handy Resource Guide that allows you to search for services in your state. Click any of the links to find out more information about the service providers listed. When looking at information about service providers, you may see things that say, ABA therapy or ABA-like therapy. While these sound like the same thing, they are not. A site that provides ABA therapy will have a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT), BCaBA, or BCBA providing direct or indirect services to clients. A site that provides ABA-like therapy may have individuals who practice ABA, but are not certified by the BACB. If you come across a site that offers ABA-like therapy provided by Masters level clinicians, inquire about the individual’s degree. If it is a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis, this means the individual has had coursework and training specific to ABA. If the individual has a Master’s degree in Psychology, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Social Work, Occupational Therapy, etc, the individual has probably not received specific training to provide ABA services during their program.
You may also Google autism providers in your area. The same rules apply when searching for service providers through Google that apply when searching for providers via Autism Speaks. Look for a service provider with RBT, BCaBA, or BCBA certifications, as well as for individuals with a Master’s degree in ABA. Individuals with these certifications or degree are the most likely to be able to provide you with quality ABA therapy.
For more information about the team at the Autism Center of North Mississippi, check out Our Team page.