What behaviors will your programs target?
Programs are individualized and may teach a wide range of behaviors and skills. Programs focus on teaching functional skills (with a strong emphasis on communication) and decreasing maladaptive or problem behaviors.
In most cases, your consultant will be able to come up with appropriate goals based on parent interviews and time interacting with your child. Occassionally, he/she (or you!) may choose to have a formal skills assessment administered to determine the child’s current skills and develop a baseline performance level.
What teaching techniques are used in HOPE programs?
HOPE uses a variety of teaching styles depending on what works for each individual child. ALL programs are based on the principle of using positive reinforcement to teach skills and increase incidences of appropriate behaviors. Using reinforcement during therapy sessions makes therapy sessions fun for the child.
HOPE programs typically use errorless or near-errorless learning strategies rather than traditional no-no-prompt error correction strategies. This means that on each trial the child is given the supports and prompts necessary to make sure he or she correctly completes the trial and gains access to reinforcement.
Do you provide direct therapy hours or consultation?
The answer to this question depends on you! The responsibilities of HOPE consultants are to administer assessments, develop programs for your child, track and graph child progress, update goals as needed, and make sure the team is running smoothly. Consultants prefer to see each child at least once per week for a two-hour consulting session. Typically, this two hour session includes direct intervention with the child, time discussing progress and concerns with the parent/caregiver, and time updating the notebook, graphs, and goals.
HOPE therapists are available to implement the plan written by the HOPE consultant, but families may also choose to hire private therapists. Private therapists can be trained by the HOPE team but their services will not be covered by insurance.
Who is responsible for assembling our therapy team?
We believe that parents should ultimately be in charge of who works with their child. HOPE employs many amazing therapists who are already trained in our procedures and have experience working with our consultants. However, if you choose to hire your own therapy team, HOPE consultants will be happy to train any therapists that you hire. In looking for a therapy team, remember that ANYONE who has an interest in your child’s success can be a great therapist – this includes college students, family members, friends, etc. Therapists hired by you will not be covered by insurance.
Do you collaborate with my child’s other service providers (i.e. speech and occupational therapists)?
ABSOLUTELY! We love to collaborate with other service providers in order to encourage generalization of skills. We can work with related providers to make sure we’re working on compatible goals. We can give them behavioral strategies to keep your child’s problem behavior from interfering with therapy. We also meet with preschool teachers to provide basic training in ABA or collaborate on goal selection.
Collaboration with other service providers can happen in a variety of ways: HOPE consultants can go to therapy sessions with the child or we can set up meetings with therapy providers specifically to discuss progress and concerns. Funding for consultations or co-treatment with other therapy providers varies greatly depending on your insurance company.
What if my child has behavior problems in settings outside of the home (i.e. the grocery store)?
Consultants can come to the place where the behavior occurs, observe the child and make suggestions on how to reduce occurrences of the problem behavior. It is helpful if you can arrange for these outings during your consultant’s regularly-scheduled session, but with advanced notice we can be flexible for time-specific outings (i.e. swim lessons, church, etc.)
Will health insurance cover the cost of assessment and therapy?
HOPE is an approved provider with Optum/United Behavioral Health, Aetna, Cigna, and Humana, but plans vary greatly and ABA may or may not be a covered benefit of your plan.
Until recently, most insurance companies did not cover the cost of this type of intervention. However, it is more and more common for insurance companies to provide behavioral therapy for children with a diagnosis of autism although the insurance company may have stipulations on who provides the therapy, what behaviors can be targeted, the number of visits, etc. The best thing to do is to call the insurance company and see if they will cover therapy and what the stipulations are. After you make the initial call to verify benefits we can follow up to submit necessary paperwork and get prior authorizations as needed.
If we are not contracted with your health insurance company but you have ABA benefits on your health plan, we can either try to set up a Single Case Agreement with your insurance company or if you have out-of-network benefits we can supply you with the information needed to submit claims to your insurance company. In this case you will be responsible for payment to Hope in full, but you can then submit the claims to your insurance company and they may reimburse you for some of the therapy costs.