Let’s talk about money. We’re all worried about it, so let’s break it down: How much does ABA therapy cost? ABA Therapy can be paid for in 4 ways. Private companies, known as Non-Public Agencies (NPA’s) can be contracted through all 4 of these methods. These private companies can be small local agencies or large regional or national groups. Moreover, they can be provided by consultants and therapists in separate types of packages. The four funding types for ABA Therapy are listed below:

How much does ABA Therapy Cost provided by School Districts?

For school district services, parents do not pay anything out of pocket, as the services are funded under the guidelines of FAPE laws. The school district may have ABA staff that are hired to work for the district in-house, or they can contract with a local agency (known as Non-Public Agencies). Either way, your child’s program should be supervised by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst, or an MA or PhD-Level Clinician with a license (e.g. a Marriage & Family Therapist or Psychology License). Because payment to the non-public agency, or NPA, comes from the school district, many NPA’s consider the district the “client” and are required to working towards the goals indicated in the Individualized Education Plan put forth in the child’s annual meeting. As such, any large changes related to your child’s goals or programming is required to go through your school’s IEP, and is often difficult to change just by speaking to your child’s therapist or therapists’s supervisor. How much does ABA therapy cost? Direct Cost: Free + school supplies Indirect Cost: Property Taxes for your region

How much does ABA Therapy Cost Provided Through Insurance?

If you have an insurance plan that covers autism treatment (click here for a list of states that mandate this coverage), your cost will be limited to the deductible that your plan requires. Let’s say your insurance plan has a $25 deductible, you would be required to pay $25 every time your child receives ABA Therapy. Assuming 5 visits per week for 48 weeks per year (including sick days or vacation), your out-of-pocket cost would be $6,000. Don’t panic just yet, some state programs cover these deductibles for families, check with your local Department of Developmental Services to see if this is an option in your state. How much does ABA therapy cost? Direct Cost: approx $6,000/year (5 days/week for 48 weeks) Indirect Cost: Insurance Premiums

How much does ABA Therapy Cost Provided through State Agencies?

Some state agencies act as the “payer of last resort.” For example, in California, if you do not have insurance that covers your child’s therapy, and your child experiences challenges outside of school such as behavior problems, or significant skill deficits relative to his or her age, they will provide an in-home ABA Therapist and Supervisor to work with you and your child. How much does ABA therapy cost? Direct Cost: Free + some materials

How much does ABA Therapy Cost Provided by Private Payment?

Some families use private pay if their work organization provides them a stipend for child care, or if their child has a trust that is required to be used for educational purposes. If you are in a position to use private pay for your child’s therapy, ask the provider about whether they use a sliding scale. Some ABA providers have an hourly rate that is based on the family’s household income. All providers understand how expensive therapy can be so many will work with you to determine a rate that works best for you. Make sure that your provider still gives you appropriate documentation like quarterly reports and invoices to keep you informed. How much does ABA therapy cost? Direct Cost: Anywhere from $20/hour to $75/hour  No matter which of the four methods of payment you use, your child’s ABA therapy should be individually catered to their specific needs. If you are having trouble finding a provider that is a good fit for your child, search for a new provider in you area by clicking here.

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