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Comprehensive ABA Therapy or School: Which is Right for My Child with Autism?
child with backpack hugging family member

As we look toward the new school year, many parents of young children with autism are faced with an important decision: enroll in a comprehensive therapy program, such as applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy, or opt for a school placement.

In Illinois, if your child with autism is between the ages of 3 and 6* and has not yet entered first grade, you can choose to enter them into school placement with support services, or to enroll in a comprehensive therapy program.

Is Full-Day ABA Therapy Better than School Placement?

While ABA therapy is the most effective treatment for autism overall, the best path forward depends on your child’s unique needs and current progress. Is your child currently thriving in a school or daycare program? If so, we would recommend sticking to what is working.

If your child is struggling to reach developmental milestones or showing little improvement, comprehensive, full-day ABA therapy is an excellent option.

If your young child has recently been diagnosed and you are not sure where to begin, we recommend getting in touch with an ABA therapy provider like The Place for Children with Autism. Research has shown time and time again that ABA is the most effective type of autism therapy.

Is My Child with Autism Ready for School?

To determine if your child is ready for school, there are several school-readiness skills to consider, such as communication milestones, ability to understand and follow directions, toileting, and so on. Several self-assessments are available to help parents or guardians evaluate their child’s school-readiness. For more information, please see our full article on ABA therapy vs. school district services or contact us today!

*Federal regulations require schools to provide appropriate education and support for all children ages 3 and older. In Illinois, children must begin first grade if they are age 6 or older by September 1.

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Since you selected Medicaid as the type of insurance you'll be using, please let us know if any of the special circumstances below apply to you. This allows our grants department and outreach department to better assist in determining if we can help with services.

A member of our outreach department will be in touch either way!

Have you recently lost private insurance through your job or for any reason (e.g., covid, laid off, etc)?
Have you recently moved to Illinois within 60-days?
Have you recently had a baby or got married within 60-days?

May 17, 2023

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