What is Autism? Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a pervasive developmental disorder that is neurological in nature, although behaviorally diagnosed. According to the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) as published in 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) constitutes deficits along three major areas of development: 1) persistent difficulties in social communication and interaction, 2) restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities, and 3) with or without accompanying language or intellectual impairment.
When is Autism Diagnosed? Autism can be reliably diagnosed as early as 18 months or even sooner. If you suspect your child has autism, do not hesitate to contact your pediatrician. The earlier you help your child access medically necessary ABA therapy, the better his or her lifetime prognosis will be.
What are the Early Signs of Autism? Even very young infants can begin to show warning signs of autism, so it is important for parents and primary caregivers to be aware of what they are. Some red flags that your child may have autism may include a lack of a social smile, lack of eye contact, being unresponsive to name, lack of pointing, lack of imitation, delayed speech and language development, hypersensitivity to lights and sounds, and repetitive motor mannerisms.
Who Can Diagnose My Child with Autism? Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is typically diagnosed by a pediatric neurologist. If you suspect your child has autism, contact your child's pediatrician who will then provide you with a referral for a diagnostic assessment with a pediatric neurologist. If a more thorough autism specific assessment is required by your insurance carrier in order to cover ABA therapy services, this service may be provided by a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. This additional assessment may or may not require another referral from your pediatrician depending on your health insurance plan.
What is ABA Therapy? ABA Therapy is the #1 evidence-based treatment of autism. ABA therapy is a scientific approach to behavior change that focuses on increasing adaptive patterns of behavior (i.e., speech, social skills, independent living skills) while also decreasing maladaptive patterns of behavior (i.e., tantrum behavior, aggression toward others, property destruction, self-injurious behavior, self-stimulatory behavior, etc.). ABA Therapy is considered a medically necessary treatment for children diagnosed with autism and can drastically improve your child and family's overall quality of life.
Who Can Provide ABA Therapy Services? The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) is responsible for maintaining the quality and integrity of practitioners in the field of ABA. ABA therapy is commonly provided as a 3-tiered service delivery system in which a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) supervises the work of a Board Certified assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) and a team of Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs). Knowing your child's ABA therapy team consists of a BCBA, a BCaBA and RBTs is the best way to ensure that your child is accessing high-quality ABA therapy services. We take pride in knowing that all Lotus clinical team members are recognized by the BACB.
Does Lotus Behavioral Interventions Accept My Insurance? ABA Therapy is covered by most health insurance plans. We are in-network providers with Aetna, AvMed, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Carisk, Cigna, Coventry, Florida Blue, Humana, Humana Military TriCare East, and United. We also accept payment from the CDC+, Gardiner Scholarship, and VPK-SIS programs. We are not currently in-network with Medicaid and cannot accept any Marketplace or Medicaid funded plans at this time.
Where Does ABA Therapy Take Place? Let us come to you! We strictly provide ABA therapy services in the child's natural environment, which typically consists of the home, daycare center, school, after care program or other community setting. We are passionate about building generalization into ABA programming so that your child can make progress with the people and in the environments they naturally interact with on a daily basis.
What Locations Do You Serve? We service children with autism across South Florida throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties. We also service children in Puerto Rico and throughout the rest of the world with the use of telehealth technology. No matter where you live, it would be our pleasure to help your child reach his or her fullest developmental potentials.
What is the Time Commitment Required for ABA Therapy? Research indicates that anywhere between 10-40 hours of ABA therapy per week is suitable for most children on the spectrum to make significant clinical gains in their development. Every child and family is different. Following a formal intake interview and assessment of your child's needs and availability, we will create an individualized ABA treatment plan that will work for you.
For How Long Will My Child Need ABA Therapy? Most children with autism will need ABA therapy for many years, starting soon after diagnosis. Children who receive early intensive behavioral intervention have the best lifetime prognosis. Your child's ABA therapy team will continuously monitor their progress to make changes in the frequency and intensity of their intervention as needed.
What AGe Ranges Do You Treat? We mainly provide ABA therapy to infants, toddlers, children and adolescents diagnosed with autism aged 0-17. When funding is available, we can also treat adults on the spectrum.
Do You Offer ABA Therapy in Other Languages? Most members of our ABA Therapy team are bilingual and fluent in American Sign Language (ASL), which makes it possible for us to communicate with children and families with multi-cultural backgrounds. It is important to note that within the United States, however, ABA therapy is strictly conducted in English in order to support the language your child is exposed to with his teachers and peers at school, in television and on-line programming, in books and reading materials, etc.