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Irvine, CA: ABA provider responds to "growing recognition" of therapy benefits

June 12, 2023, Daily Independent: Increased Demand for ABA Therapy Requires Precision Treatment Planning to Achieve Timely Access to Care,402380

IRVINE, Calif. According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 36 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, or ASD, an increase from the 2018 estimate that found a prevalence of 1 in 44. Diagnosis typically occurs by age 4, with minority groups tending to be diagnosed later and less often.

Most experts agree early intervention creates the best opportunity to support healthy development and deliver benefits across the lifespan for individuals with ASD. The CDC reports that applied behavioral analysis, or ABA therapy, is the most widely accepted, evidence-based form of treatment used in clinical settings that "encourages desired behaviors and discourages undesired behaviors." ABA supports increased language and communication, improved social skills, and enhanced attention in individuals with ASD.

The growing recognition of ABA therapy's efficacy and positive outcomes has led to an increased demand for these services across various communities. However, the limited availability of qualified ABA therapists and professionals has resulted in a gap between the demand and supply of this essential treatment. A 2021 study of Trends in Geographic Access to Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) led by Dr. Marissa Yingling found that despite the growth of the ABA industry, more than half of all counties in the U.S. lack a single BCBA….

"The increased demand for proven clinical outcomes in the ABA field requires providers to offer precise treatment plans that are authorized quickly by funders, so that individuals impacted by autism, their caretakers and their families can find relief through ABA therapies faster," Leah Felty, vice president of payor relations and program management for ACES, said.

Felty said ACES employs a systematic and proprietary approach to communicate quality individualized treatment plans, based on the ACES Center of Excellence framework of personalized assessments and data collection, the needs of the individual client and family, how many hours of treatment are needed, coordination of care needs, and their treatment history. ACES pays close attention to the client's support system. Participation of the individual and their family in the decision-making process of treatment is obtained through consultation and review of the plan….

"Our main goal is to facilitate meaningful and effective responses to treatment that generalize across all environments and improve the well-being of the individual and their support system," Felty said.


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