Applied Behavior Analysis

Learn about Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy for clients with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental and intellectual disabilities

There are many types of treatments available for Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental and intellectual disabilities. Treatments typically fall under one of four categories:

  • Behavior and communication approaches
  • Dietary approaches
  • Medication
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

Applied Behavior Analysis is a behavior treatment approach covered by Apple Health (Medicaid) for clients who qualify.

Other services available instead of or in addition to ABA include:

  • Speech and language services
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Sensory integration

Additional information about these other therapies can be found under habilitative and rehabilitative services. 

Applied Behavior Analysis

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an approach to improve behavior and skills related to core impairments associated with autism and a number of other developmental disabilities. It involves application of validated principals of human behavior to change inappropriate behaviors.

Providers use scientific methods to show that behavioral improvements are caused by the prescribed treatment. ABA therapy also focuses on social significance, which promotes a family-centered, whole-life approach.

Contact your plan for program benefits and ask for the ABA case manager. They will help you schedule a Centers of Excellence (COE) appointment and identify ABA providers enrolled with your plan.

Eligibility and accessing services

To be eligible for ABA, the client must first:

  • Be evaluated by an Apple Health approved COE provider, and
  • Receive a prescription for Applied Behavior Analysis therapy

Find an ABA provider

For a list of Apple Health contracted providers please see the Centers of Excellence.

If a COE provider determines a client may benefit from ABA therapy, they will provide the client, caregiver, or family with a copy of their evaluation and order to take to an ABA provider.

The client, caregiver, or family are encouraged to contact Medicaid-enrolled ABA providers in their area. In most cases, providers have waiting lists for services. We recommend getting on multiple waiting lists and calling the providers on a regular basis to get the first available appointment.