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Navigating the Path from the Diagnosis to the Treatment

        (Many of the steps described below should be undertaken simultaneously to save time, so intervention can start as soon as possible. Please note that this does not constitute legal/medical/other professional advice and is provided as information only. )

  1. Once diagnosed with autism, contact your local FEAT (Families for Effective Autism Treatment) group who can provide locally relevant and detailed information on ABA.
  2. Call several ABA agencies and begin the application process. Pick quality agencies by doing your homework; assess the intensity and quality of the service by speaking to other parents, and ask whether the agency provides research-based services. Many superior agencies have a long wait list so contact them right way to get your name on the list.
  3. Secure funding. Your child may be entitled to ABA services under state and federal laws. Contact your Regional Center and local school district to start the eligibility process. Your local public school is governed by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA") which entitles every qualifying child to a "Free and Appropriate Public Education" ("FAPE"). Your Regional Center is governed by the Lanterman Act which requires Regional Centers to provide persons with disabilities access to facilities and services best suited to them throughout their lifetime.
  4. Get an independent evaluation by a professional (Ph D. or Psy D) who is familiar with autism and ABA treatment. This is often the most important part in building your case for ABA intervention. "Independent" generally means a person with no direct or financial ties to Regional Center/ local school district that are responsible for funding the ABA program. Again, talk to other parents at your local FEAT for referral and recommendation.
  5. Read up on ABA to learn what intervention based on ABA entails - enable yourself to be a better teacher for your child. Learn the basic rights you and your child are entitled to under the law so you can be a better advocate.
  6. Many families had to resort to attorneys/ advocates to secure a high quality, intensive ABA program for their children. They attest that was expense well spent. Remember, everyone is nice. Effective advocacy means getting results for your child, not about making friends. You are your child's voice, and only YOU have your child's best interest in the heart.



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