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Why We Shouldn’t Settle for Less than ABA for Autism

Published on
May 23, 2019

We know ABA therapy works. Then why aren’t more people getting it? Read along to learn about common barriers, and why we owe it to individuals with autism to make ABA services avaialble to them.

1 in every 59 children has autism.

Yes, you read that right. That’s the new jaw-dropping statistic from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention.

It is now more crucial than ever that individuals with autism have access to the best services that can help them achieve their highest potential. According to, the top 5 therapies for autism, as reported, are: 1. Occupational Therapy (39%), 2. Speech Therapy (27%), 3. ABA Therapy (15%), 4. Social Skills Classes (8%), and 5. Hippotherapy (OT through horseback riding, 2%). It is shocking that ABA is only number 3 on the list and that only 15% of parents find this to be considered the best therapy for their kiddo with autism!

Potential Hurdles

ABA therapy can be incredibly beneficial for individuals with autism, so why is it so hard to get? There are so many questions that, unfortunately, can go unanswered and serve as a barrier. Why do insurance companies make it difficult to receive funding for these services? Why are some states cutting funding for services? Why do some countries not even have ABA as an option?

The list goes on and on.

ABA therapy should be available to all families who are in need, because it has helped so many people in different aspects of their life. It’s not just the child or learner who benefits - the entire family benefits from ABA therapy. As the learner develops new skills through ABA, the stress that families have surrounding their child’s behaviors will start to go away.

As this stress begins to lessen for parents, siblings, and others who regularly interact with the learner, the interactions become more pleasant for everyone! And who doesn’t want more happiness and less stress in their life?

Individuals with Autism Are People Too

Just because someone has limited communication skills does not mean that they do not fully understand the world around them. Everyone experiences life different ways, and individuals with autism have their own thoughts, feelings, and emotions just like everyone else. It is for this very reason that ABA services should be more accessible for these individuals. If they can access services that will help them build the skills they need to make their life more enjoyable and manageable, who are we to deny them the opportunity?

For individuals with autism, ABA is one of the best services to help achieve this. Just like autism is a “spectrum disorder”, ABA targets a spectrum of skills using evidence-based practices. A child without autism would not be denied access to learning opportunities in school, so a child with autism should not be denied access to ABA.