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Early Childhood Applied Behavior Analysis Overview

The Michigan Medicaid and MIChild Early Childhood Autism Benefit went into effect on April 1, 2013 and expanded its services on January 2015. This Autism Benefit provides children under 21 years of age who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services. ABA treatment can be used to address skills and behaviors relevant to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. ABA focuses on increasing:

  • Language skills
  • Social skills
  • Communication skills
  • Following instructions
  • Peer interactions
  • Academic/cognitive skills
  • Following typical daycare/classroom routines
  • Self-help and daily living skills

Early Childhood Applied Behavior Analysis Services Process

The child and family will be provided the following evaluations and assessments to determine eligibility for the Medicaid/Healthy Michigan/MIChild Autism Benefit and appropriate intensity of ABA services within the first quarter of request for services.

Step 1: Screening for ASD is completed by the child’s primary care physician or the MCCMH Access Center (586)948-0222.

  • Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT)
  • Social Communication Questionnaire (SCQ)

Step 2: Complete the Diagnostic Evaluations to verify the child has ASD. This process takes approximately 3 hours and is completed during two appointments. Once completed, the results are sent to the Michigan Department of Community Health for review/approval.

  • Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2 (ADOS-2)
  • Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R)

Step 3: Develop the Plan of Service by assessing the strengths of the child and develop goals the child will focus on during the ABA services with the family and team.

  • Individual Plan of Service Development (IPOS)
  • Skills Assessments (ABLLS or VB-MAPP)
  • Cognitive Testing (Mullen, WPPSI-IV, or DAS-II)
  • Adaptive Behavior Interview (VABS-2)

Step 4: Begin ABA services with ABA Behavior Technicians:

  • Clinic or Home Setting
  • Individual or Group
  • Approximately 5 to 20 hours per week
  • Services are supervised (1 hour per 10 hours) by Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) or Exception level staff (until 9/30/16)
  • Parent Training

Additional Autism Services

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), including those outside of the age range for the Autism Benefit (within other MCCMH programs), may also be eligible for additional services such as:

  • Speech Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Respite
  • Family Training
  • Community Living Supports
  • Physical Therapy

Autism Screening

M-CHAT-R Autism Screening Tool Online - For Children 16 to 30 months

M-CHAT-R: Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers: If you are concerned that your child may have autism and you aren’t sure how to talk about it with the doctor, this screening tool may help start the conversation. Print the tool and make any notes you wish about your child’s behavior. Take it with you to the doctor. Remember that a positive M-CHAT-R only recommends taking a closer look, it is not a diagnosis; only a qualified health professional can diagnose autism.