Currently it is estimated that the average family of a child with autism needs to pay between $28,000 to $36,000 a year for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. Most parents cannot afford this in the current economic climate, and most insurance companies do not cover the Autism diagnosis, let alone ABA therapy.
But that isn't the only problem. There is a growing number of children being diagnosed with Autism, so many in fact that current services could be overwhelmed in a matter of years. This means Behavior Therapists are in desperate need, and there are not enough to go around. How do we deal with the growing number of children in need of therapy, and finite resources?
In previous posts I have called for services to help parents learn ABA techniques to help their own children. Someone must have heard, because sites like http://simplestepsautism.com are starting to show themselves. These sites help parents learn how to not only cope with having a child with autism in the family, but also learn how they can help their child with autism become a productive citizen by learning necessary social behaviors.
The benefit here is that with parents getting involved, guided by certified ABA therapists, you instantly have a broader base of support and therapy for children and adults with autism, and therefore a broader base for success. It is success guaranteed with parents and caregivers getting involved with their child's learning. I know this is kind of a new concept in today's society, more's the pity.
So I commend the folks at SimpleSteps for their desire to broaden the support base to parents and not just therapists. The only thing that is currently discouraging is the price tag that comes with the service. But perhaps private donations, organizations, or Government grants can be made available to lower those costs and make such useful, beneficial services available to the families that need them but cannot afford them.