Friday, September 21, 2012

FREE Workshop “Autism and Health Insurance: Making Your Benefits Work for Your Child.”

Confused About the Autism Health Insurance Law? Find out how to tell if your insurance policy is covered under this new law, what can you expect, steps you should take and more!

Free for parents, childcare will be provided at the facility for $18. Children can bounce the night away while parents and professionals can hear the information on the new Autism Health Insurance Law (SB946). Children will be able to use all the facilities under supervision.  

You must RSVP to reserve your spot!

Presented by Behavior Frontiers Founder & Executive Director, Helen Mader, M.A., B.C.B.A.
WHEN: Monday, Oct 8th 6-8 pm
WHERE: Sky High Sports, 3230 Cornerstone Dr, Mira Loma
For more info or to RSVP:
Autism Society Inland Empire
(951) 220-6922

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Legal Opinion Finds CA Regional Centers Can Pay Copays

The Association of Regional Center Agencies (ARCA) requested a legal opinion from the law firm, Enright and Ocheltree, LLP, in order to determine whether regional centers can pay the co-pays for services otherwise covered by insurance. The legal option authored on June 11, 2012, finds that requiring copayments from families who have insurance violates the Lanterman Act, which governs the regional centers. In addition, this legal opinion found that hardship and financial need of the family are not relevant, since there is no copay requirement in the law pertaining to insurance. This means that families who are able to secure insurance funding for applied behavior analysis (ABA) services for their child with autism can contact their regional center to request reimbursement for copayments. Families can provide their regional center service coordinator with the following legal opinion to support their request: ARCADecision

Monday, July 2, 2012

California Law Requires Health Insurance to Cover Autism Treatment

As of July 1, 2012, California law SB946 requires health insurance plans to cover applied behavior
analysis (ABA) for patients who have pervasive developmental disorder or autism. The law also requires insurance companies to maintain an adequate network of ABA providers so that children with autism will have access to this necessary care. Under this new law, either Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) or licensed clinicians with appropriate experience are allowed to design and supervise ABA programs. Furthermore, the law allows professionals and paraprofessionals to implement the behavioral treatment plan under the supervision of the BCBA or licensed clinician.

Here is a list of steps you can use to get insurance coverage for your child with autism:

1. Find Out if Your Insurance Plan Must Follow the New Law
First, find out if your insurance plan is mandated to follow this new law. Plans that are exempt
from following this new law are self-funded plans, out-of-state plans, Healthy Families plans,
and Medi-Cal plans. However, some self-funded plans (e.g., Microsoft, Deloitte, etc.) offer ABA
treatment for autism as a benefit for their employees. Therefore, you should check with your
human resources representative to find out. Also, if you only have a Healthy Families or Medi-
Cal plan, you may contact your local California regional center about funding.

2. Get a Diagnosis
In order to receive insurance funded ABA services, your child will need to have a qualifying
diagnosis. The law states that patient’s with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) or autism
qualify for behavioral health treatment. PDD includes Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder,
Rett’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and PDD-NOS. Therefore, if your child does
not have a formal diagnosis, you will need to bring your child to a licensed clinician who can
conduct a diagnostic assessment and provide you formal diagnosis in a written report.

3. Get a Prescription for ABA
The next step in getting insurance coverage for your child with autism spectrum disorder is
to get a prescription for ABA from your child’s physician or licensed psychologist. You will
likely need to give a copy of your child’s diagnostic report your child’s physician or licensed
psychologist so that he/she is aware that your child qualifies for this medically necessary

4. Verify Benefits
Then, you will need to verify the benefits offered by your child’s health insurance plan. This
can be done by submitting your child’s prescription to your health insurance plan and then
contacting their autism team or their general customer service center to find out if your child’s
plan covers ABA. You can also ask an ABA treatment provider to verify your child’s benefits for
you, which they can do if you provide them with your child’s health information. For example,
Behavior Frontiers is an ABA provider that offers a secure, online parent portal, which
families can use to submit their child’s medical information. Behavior Frontiers will provide you
with an explanation of your child’s ABA benefits, including information on your co-payments, co-
insurance, deductibles, caps, etc.

5. Select an ABA Provider
Once you know your child has ABA benefits then ask your health insurance company for a
directory of in-network ABA Providers who can provide the necessary ABA services for your
child. You can call and interview the ABA providers listed until you find one that fits your child’s
needs. Remember, in most cases, ABA services are delivered in your child’s home or community
so the location of the ABA provider may not be a very important. If your child already has an
ABA provider, then you will need to find-out if they are in-network with your child’s health
insurance plan. You may need to request that your ABA provider join the network if they have
not yet done so. In some cases, such as when there is not an in-network provider within 30 miles
of your home, then you may be able to use an out-of-network provider.

6. Have Provider Conduct an Assessment & Design the Treatment Plan
If you are beginning ABA services for the first time, your ABA provider will need to assess
your child in order to design a treatment plan. This assessment may include reviewing past
reports, interviewing caregivers, observing your child, and/or testing your child’s skills. If your
child has an existing ABA provider, they may be able to use current assessment information to
design your child’s treatment plan. The treatment plan should describe your child’s behavioral
health impairments and should include measurable goals, evidence-based interventions, and
recommendations for service type, number of hours, and parent participation. Your provider
may or may not have to get preauthorization to conduct the assessment, depending upon the
requirements of your child’s plan.

7. Get Preauthorization for Treatment
Depending on the policies of your child’s health plan, your ABA provider may have to submit a
variety of documents to the health insurance company to get pre-authorization for treatment to
begin. For example, you may need to give your provider copies of your child’s diagnostic report,
functional behavior assessment, standardized tests, IEP report, IFSP report, ABA treatment plan,
and progress reports from prior ABA treatment to include in the submission. Your ABA provider
will submit requested documents to the health plan in order to get treatment authorization.

8. Begin Services!
Once your ABA provider receives written pre-authorization from the health insurance plan then
treatment may begin. You will likely have a meeting with your child’s assigned ABA supervisor
to review and consent to the treatment plan and other policies. Once paperwork has been
completed, then your child’s supervisor will likely bring a treatment plan data collection binder
to your home and start training the professional and paraprofessional staff how to accurately
implement your child’s treatment plan.

We hope this list will help you to make your way efficiently through the process in order to get your
child insurance funding for behavioral health treatment. Please visit Behavior Frontiers website to see the insurance companies that we are in-network with at this time and to find a location near you.

Behavior Frontiers is dedicated to helping families successfully navigate the process to created by the
new California health insurance mandate for autism!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Event Wrap Up - Dallas Area Events

Behavior Frontiers in Dallas was really excited to participate in the 3rd Annual “Teaching Does Make a Difference” Autism Conference in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas.  It was held on February 27-29 held by Families for Effective Autism Treatment - North Texas (FEAT-NT). Grace Gomez, Clinical Director in Dallas, did two workshops about using reinforcement strategies. Families were able to attend three days of training and over 40 presentations!!

Frisco Fun Run (5/19/12) was able to raise money for families needing financial aid to pay for much needed therapies. Behavior Frontiers were happy to participate in helping families.

Live the Dream Expo, Irving (5/19/12) was able to offer free information to families who have children with special needs. We were happy to help the local school districts by empowering families with free information and resources.

Walk, Roll, Stroll (6/16/12) raised thousands of dollars for Ability Connections Texas. ACT offers individuals with all disabilities free supports and services. We were glad to participate in the fundraiser despite the very hot weather!

Stephanie’s Day (6/16/12), now in its 8th year in Dallas, was a huge success! It was a fun-filled day of information and resources for families of children with special needs.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Family Fun Run & Living The Dream Expo

Behavior Frontiers is proud to sponsor and provide activities to both of these events this Saturday, May 19th! Please stop by to say hello.

The 5th Annual Prosperity Place Fun Run & Family Festival - Frisco Square, Frisco, Texas from 8-11:30 am. This race benefits Prosperity Place, a non-profit organization helping children with special needs. To register click here!

We will also be at the “Live the Dream” EXPO West - May 19, 2012 at Ranchview High School in Irving, 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

This is for families with school-aged children with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The EXPOs are free to the public and offer information, expertise, assistance and services from area service providers. Organized by The Arc, Region 10 Education Service Center and 16 suburban independent school districts, the EXPOs include information tables, workshops and fun activities for the whole family. For more info click here!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Behavior Frontiers Attending ABAI May 25-28

behavior frontiers at ABAI
Behavior Frontiers will be attending the 38th Annual Convention in Seattle, Washington, May 25–29, 2012, at the Washington State Convention Center. This year's convention includes content from 1,166 submissions, including 466 posters, 256 panels and symposia, 77 papers, 38 invited addresses, 7 invited tutorials, 57 business meetings, 17 reunions, 23 special events, 133 Expo posters, and 92 workshops. There are abundant opportunities to learn and share about the science, practice, education, and professional issues in behavior analysis and we will be on hand to demonstrate our unique ABA training center and programs.

Our executive director, Helen Mader, will be presenting at the following workshops:

# 6 Workshop Increasing Appropriate Behaviors of Children With Autism—Part 1 in a Series
# 61 Workshop Decreasing Problem Behaviors of Children with Autism—Part 2 in a Series
# 11 Paper Session Pricing 101: What rates should behavior analysts charge?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Autism Walk Los Angeles

We were so happy to participate in the 10th annual Walk Now for Autism Speaks - our team enjoyed a full day visiting with the families and organizations who turned out to support this important fundraiser.

Monday, April 2, 2012

World Autism Awareness Day

Light It Up Blue is a unique global initiative to help raise awareness about the growing public health concern that is autism.  Iconic landmarks such as the Empire State building, Great Buddha (Japan), The CN Tower (Toronto), Rockefeller Center, the Sydney Opera House and others will Light It Up Blue to show their support on April 2, 2012 - World Autism Awareness Day. What will you do to show your support?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Top Toys for Young Children with Autism

Toys are one of the significant tools in aiding your child's development. Surrounding your child with the right toys may provide opportunities to improve your child’s communication, social skills, motor skills, and cognition, to name a few. Here is a list of toys that may assist in targeting these skills for young children with autism. These items are both visually appealing and great for social and independent play. Keep in mind that in order to reap the most benefits from these toys, your interaction through building conversations, modeling play, and giving necessary prompts will play a significant role.

1.     Peg Puzzles - Basic peg puzzles are great for improving your child’s cognitive skills, hand-eye coordination, and definitely fine motor skills. Putting these puzzles together may teach your child to match and improve visual-spatial orientation. Also, since they come in different themes (e.g., alphabet, numbers, shapes, animals, etc.), your child may also get a head start in learning about categories.

2.     Wooden Geometric Stacker - Help your child learn how to recognize and differentiate between shapes, colors, and sizes. Enhance your child’s problem solving skills as s/he stacks pieces that vary in size. When you interact with your child, this toy may aid in teaching object attributes and basic receptive skills.

3.     Modeling Clays - Nothing disguises fine motor skills tasks as well as playing with these malleable products. Rolling, pinching, smashing, and using the standard plastic tools for these items are good exercises for various parts of the hands. You could make these motions even more functional and fun by creating items with details (e.g., a long snake with eyeballs, a layered birthday cake with small rolled up candles, etc.). Please note that some common brands contain wheat, so please read ingredients carefully.

4.     Basic Skills Boards - A puzzle board that doubles as a dressing-up game is a perfect way to introduce this important self-help skill. These types of boards can contain buttons, laces, buckles, and a zipper—perfect for teaching your child how to manipulate these items while improving fine motor skills.

5.     Bean Bag Toss Games - Visual orientation, gross motor skills, and hand-eye coordination are some of the skills that are targeted as your child aims and throws.

6.     Kitchen Play Sets - Playing with a kitchen set provides plenty of opportunities to enhance socio-dramatic play, functional pretend play, parallel play, and language. Your child could imitate real-life actions of cooking and serving food while learning to label food and household items and their functions. Teaching language including verbs and attributes could also be easily done while you model play to your child.

7.     Animal Play Sets – These toys present an amusing way of introducing different animals. Your child may learn general knowledge about animals as s/he associates them with their habitats and the bonus matching sounds included in this toy. Creative play, fine motor, and language are some of the skills that could be targeted as your child maneuvers and manipulates the actions of the animals in different ways.

Monday, January 30, 2012

“Teaching Does Make a Difference” Autism Conference

The 2012 Annual FEAT-NT Autism Conference "Teaching Does Make a Difference” will be held on February 27, 28 and 29, 2012 at Northwood Church in Keller, Texas.  For over 15 years, FEAT-NT has been dedicated to serving educators, parents, professionals and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and developmental delays. In the spirit of our commitment we are honored to present a conference with a diverse array of professionals with valuable years of experience to share. Recognizing
that each teaching opportunity impacts an individual’s quality of life and a lifetime of skills and
success, these professionals have implemented and refined evidence based teaching strategies
that have been proven to be successful.

Grace Gomez, the Behavior Frontiers Dallas office Clinical Director will be a guest speaker at the event. More information on the 3-day event, click here

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

FRED Conference 2012

Farms & Ranches Enabling People with Disabilities (FRED) is holding its first conference to create a coalition of professionals and family members involved in special needs farms and ranches. This event takes place on March 3, 2012 in Manhattan Beach, CA. Find out more about this innovative event at