Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Autism?
Autism is a developmental disorder/delay that is often associated with very specific characteristics. These characteristics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Progression in a developmentally typical way for the first 12-18 months of life
- An often dramatic rapid loss in skills already learned at the formerly mentioned age.
- Inability to attain new skills in the natural environment.
- Little or no interest in social interactions with parents or siblings.
- Little or no ability to communicate with spoken language.
- Strong resistance to changes in routines or schedule.
- Spending large amounts of time stimulating oneself by engaging in repetitive, inappropriate behavior (i.e., turning a light on/off, playing with fingers or toes).
Q: Will ABA therapy work for my child?
ABA therapy has proven to be a successful treatment for children living with autism or developmental delays. Our program is individualized to each child within their own environment in order to maximize the potential of your child successfully progressing through the program. Weekly assessment of data ensures the most effective techniques are being used, and any lack of improvement is addressed in a timely manner.
Q: What is the ideal age range for therapy to make the most significant change?
The age in which our therapy will induce the most dramatic changes is 2 to 8 years old. This is due to mainly two important factors:
- Bad habits are more easily broken at this age
- Their brains are most malleable at this age, making learning much easier
Q: Will my insurance cover my child’s therapy?
The Illinois Autism Insurance Mandate (2008) guarantees coverage for in-state, group policies. All of our clients receive benefits from their insurance company. The details, terms, and specific benefits are determined by your individual policy. We have a working relationship with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, Aetna, and United Behavioral Health.
Q: How many hours should my child receive therapy?
Research suggests 20-40 hours per week of intensive one-on-one therapy provides the best results. The total weekly hours of ABA therapy received will vary depending on the child’s needs, scheduling availability, and insurance constraints.
Q: What is my level of involvement as a parent?
Parents typically participate in weekly team meetings with their child’s therapists to discuss progress, concerns, and learn about ABA foundations and princples. The most successful programs are those in which there is a high level of parental involvement. The more parents understand the techniques and procedures of our ABA program, the better they will be at implementing aspects of our program throughout the course of a typical day. The more a child can practice newly acquired skills in the natural environment, the better your child will become at using these skills.
Q: What does a typical session look like?
During the course of a typical two to three hour session, many skills are targeted. The first 15-20 minutes of the session are used to setup and organize materials to create the most efficient environment possible. Our sessions are conducted in a way to maximize learning opportunities, and a majority of the session is spent working on specific skill deficit areas. The last 15-20 minutes is dedicated to putting away materials and organizing data that was collected during the session.
Q: What data are collected during a session?
What separates Autism Chicago and our use of ABA therapy from most therapeutic approaches is our use of data-based decisions. These decisions are based from data collected during sessions, which is quantified and plotted on a graph. This allows us to make objective assessments and decisions about your child’s program.