What The ABA Intake Process Is Like

If you find your child has autism, there are many potential therapies that you can pursue.  However, the gold standard in autism therapy is ABA—Applied Behavioral Analysis.  ABA has been around for years, and it sometimes gets a bad rap because it changes behaviors based on a reward system.  I won’t get into the debate about ABA in this post (that will be in another post), but I do want to share what our ABA intake process was like.

For our child who was diagnosed with autism first, 2.5 years ago, we pursued a variety of therapies and found very little success.  Out of desperation, as a last resort, I decided to pursue ABA therapy.  I called our insurance expecting to find that it wasn’t covered, but to my surprise, it was.  The insurance company sent me a list of providers, and in the end, we decided to go with a company that is in 32 states.  We figured if we ever move out of Arizona, transitioning services would be easier than going with individual providers.

I’ll be honest, the intake process was filled with frustrations for me, probably in part because I’m impatient, and once I decided on ABA, I wanted the therapy to begin NOW.

The First Step

To start the process, I filled out an application online.  The application was fairly straightforward, but I had to upload many documents including psychiatrists’ reports, the diagnosis report, a prescription for ABA, my insurance card, etc.

After I finished the application, I received a call from the corporate office within a week saying they would call my insurance, and that process could take up to three weeks to verify funding.

The Questions. . .Oh So Many Questions

While I waited for insurance verification, the corporate office asked me to fill out some questions online.  The first set of questions consisted of about 300 questions.

The second set of questions?  That consisted of 3,000 questions!!!!

I’m not joking when I tell you filling out that many questions literally took me 8 to 10 hours or more done over about a two week period.  The questions were so tedious—asking me about the most minute skills my child may or may not have—that I found I couldn’t focus on the questions for much longer than 30 minutes at a time.

However, I discovered some interesting things.  I never noticed that my child doesn’t use hand gestures and can’t read an analog clock until these questions made me think, truly think, about the child’s strengths and weaknesses.

The Intake Appointment

About three weeks later, after insurance had approved an intake appointment, we had our appointment at the center.  The appointment was three hours long, and my child had to come with me.

We were asked what top three things we want to work on regarding the child’s behavior, and we were also asked to describe the most troubling behaviors.  Then, just when I thought all of the questionnaires were done, I got a thick pack of questionnaires to fill out, including the Vineland, a questionnaire about how I felt about parenting my child, and another questionnaire I can’t remember.  During the three hour appointment, I worked on these for about 1.5 hours and still had to take some of them home to finish.

The Last Step

During the intake, I was told how many hours of therapy they were going to ask our insurance for.  (In our case, it was 25 hours of ABA a week.)  Of course, this process took another three weeks.  In the end, the insurance approved that number of hours, and my child started ABA about six weeks after I initiated the process.

Although the intake process felt long to me, it did move fairly quickly.  I have heard of some people waiting months, or even a year, to get the initial interview for ABA therapy, so I’m grateful we were able to start so quickly.

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls Book Four: Journey to Jericho – A Review and Giveaway

We read aloud A LOT in our homeschool, at least one to two hours every day.  One of our favorite series is The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls by M. J. Thomas.  Last year, we had the opportunity to review the first two books in The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series–The Beginning and Race to the Ark.  Earlier this year, we had the chance to review the third book in the series, Book Three: The Great Escape, and just this month we got to review the fourth book, Book Four: Journey to Jericho.

About The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls

Written by M.J. Thomas, who has a bachelor’s degree in Bible studies, these books are written for kids ages 6 to 9 and teach about the stories of the Bible in a fun and adventurous way.  Peter and Mary are brother and sister, who, along with their faithful dog, Hank, stay with their great-Uncle Solomon for a month while their parents are travelling.  Great Uncle Solomon has scrolls that lead to traveling through time.  In previous books, Peter and Mary have traveled via the scrolls to the Garden of Eden in the first book, Noah’s Ark in the second book, Egypt during the time of the plagues in the third book, and now, the city of Jericho in this book.

In order to return home after each trip, Peter and Mary must solve a phrase.  If they can’t solve the phrase, they can’t go home.  Luckily, when they get into a tight spot, the Archangel Michael comes to help them out.

Our Thoughts on This Book

The girls loved the repetition in this book.  Now that they’re thoroughly familiar with the series, they were able to spot immediately when the Devil appeared in the book, and they were able to anticipate when Michael might come and help Peter and Mary.  They also make a game of seeing if they can solve the message on the scroll before Peter and Mary can.

This book wasn’t quite as suspenseful as some of the others, so we were able to savor it and enjoy it slowly unlike some of the other books in the series where the girls made me read, and read, and read until the book was over or my voice gave out!  Seeing the story of Jericho as it happened made us appreciate the faith the Israelites had to do something that didn’t really make sense to them or the people of Jericho, but they’re faith was rewarded.

We’re looking forward to reading the next installment in the series.

If you’re Christian, I highly recommend these books not only as a fun book to read, but also as a way to teach your children important Bible stories in an engaging way.

The Giveaway

One lucky winner will get their own copy of Book Four: Journey to Jericho.

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment stating what Bible story you think should be covered in Book Six (Book Five is set to release in December and is about David and Goliath.  Can’t wait to read that one!)

For another entry, follow Mom’s Plans on Instagram.

This giveaway, which is open to U.S. residents ages 18 and older, will end on September 4th.  The giveaway winner will be chosen via random.org.

Note: I received this book for free from Worthy Kids/Ideals in exchange for my honest review.

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