We’re excited to announce that CBS is expanding and relocating its Inland Training Center to better serve our staff and clients! We’re opening a new, larger location on August 1, 2018, in the heart of the Inland Empire — Rancho Cucamonga. The new Inland Training Center is at 9431 Haven Ave, Suite 100, convenient to the 10 and 15 freeways. This office is primarily for new client intake and consultation, recruiting and staff training.
CBS strongly emphasizes staff training and education, and the Inland Training Center is part of that commitment. If you’re interested in joining our passionate team of behavior technicians and consultants, visit our careers page today! To learn more about CBS and our services, you can contact us or follow the menu above.
Last week for the second consecutive year, Dr. Joyce Tu, Ed.D, BCBA-D, founder and Director of Center for Behavioral Sciences, and CBS Behavior Consultant Coco Liu, M.A., traveled to China for 10 days to share the science of behavior analysis. CBS lectured and presented a series of workshops on topics in behavior analysis for over 250 special education teachers in Beijing, Taiyuan and other major Chinese cities.
The lecture and workshop series was entitled, Beijing Autism Rehabilitation Technology — ABA Training. It was jointly sponsored by the Beijing Disabled Rehabilitation Service Guidance Center, the Shanxi Disabled Persons’ Federation, and the Ai You Foundation, which retained CBS and has two of the largest children’s health projects in the world. The training course has won unanimous praise from frontline teachers, industry experts and institutional leaders. Fliers with additional information are available here (Beijing training) and here (Shanxi Province training).
Behavior analysis is a burgeoning field globally, and these lectures are part of CBS’ ongoing initiative to help share and implement behavioral analytic science overseas. Dr. Tu has over twenty years’ experience providing one-on-one services, training, workshops, and supervision in the field of developmental disabilities, and has consulted or lectured for organizations nationally and abroad in China, Bahrain, Romania, and India.
By Ronald Moreno, M.A., BCBA
In 2011, Senate Bill 946 mandated that all health insurers in the State of California provide coverage for Behavioral Health Treatment (BHT) services, such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), for all individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis regardless of age. ABA was finally recognized as a medically necessary treatment for individuals with ASD! In July 2014, the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) received federal approval to provide BHT services as a Medi-Cal benefit for individuals under the age of 21 with an ASD diagnosis.
Four years later, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) came out with a statement that Medi-Cal must cover medically necessary BHT services for all individuals between the ages of 3-21. That is, if BHT services have been deemed medically necessary, all individuals regardless of diagnosis should be eligible for BHT services if they have Medi-Cal. These changes took effect less than a week ago, on July 1, 2018. This is another big win!
How Does This Affect Current ABA Services?
Outcomes vary and health coverage may not be available due to individual circumstances. And as with any recent change in the law, implementation may be imperfect. So let’s consider a hypothetical example:
Meet Jane. She has a non-autism diagnosis (e.g., Intellectual Disability, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, etc.), is currently receiving ABA services funded by a Regional Center, and also has Medi-Cal benefits. Under the new rules, Jane will be transitioned to a Medi-Cal managed care plan, such as Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP), L.A. Care, Molina, CalOptima, Medi-Cal Anthem Blue Cross, or Kaiser Medi-Cal.
However, if Jane does not have a managed care plan, but has what they call “straight” or “fee-for-service” Medi-Cal, Regional Center funding for ABA services continues. In addition, if Jane only has private insurance, Regional Center funding for ABA services remains.
If Jane currently has an ABA provider, she does not need to do anything to transition funding to her managed care plan. Regional Centers are working behind the scenes with managed care plans to transition services smoothly. Each Regional Center has its own plan about when to transition services. Please contact your Regional Center and/or ABA provider for more information about whether and when services will be transitioned.
Starting Service Without Current Regional Center Funding
If you don’t have Regional Center funding for ABA services, here are some steps which might help you get coverage and start service:
- First, visit a primary care physician, licensed psychologist, or licensed psychiatrist and tell them any current concerns with development, behavior problems, etc.
- Second, ask a medical doctor or licensed psychologist to prescribe ABA services.
- After getting that prescription, call the managed care plan and request ABA services. This can usually be done by calling the member services number on the back of the insurance card.
- The managed care plan may direct callers to an ABA provider that is in-network or redirect them to the provider directory to research different ABA providers and make a selection.
- Contact one or more ABA providers. See if they are currently accepting new clients or if there is a waiting list. Ask about the program.
- After finding an ABA provider, they may offer assistance in getting services started. Be ready to send them a copy of the insurance card, the client’s date of birth, and the prescription for ABA services. Please make sure you have verified they are a legitimate ABA agency. You do not want to send your child’s personal information to the wrong person.
- If an ABA agency intends to provide service, they will likely request a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) from your managed care plan prior to the onset of intervention. This is intended to assess the current level of development and observe any reported behavior problems.
If you have other questions and are a CBS client (or are considering our services), please feel free to email BT@centerforbehavioralsciencesinc.com and someone from CBS will be happy to provide you with additional information.
Disclaimer: This article is for general information only, and is not intended as legal or medical advice. Individual circumstances and outcomes vary, and the statements in this article may not apply to you. Please contact your health care provider or attorney regarding any specific issue or problem. The opinions expressed in this post are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of CBS.
Making Sense of Autism — A Personal Perspective
By Astrid Liddel
My name is Astrid Liddel, and I have autism. You probably have lots of ideas about what I might be like, just by seeing the word ‘autism’ in conjunction with my name. Some of those ideas might have some truth to them, while others might not. So I will tell you about myself so you can see what I am actually like. Hopefully, this will inspire you to see autistic people in a different light.
My autism is probably what you would call ‘high-functioning’. A word of advice about this — some autistic people do not like the ‘high-functioning’ and ‘low-functioning’ classifications, because they feel these labels only lead to discrimination and unfounded assumptions about how autistic people behave. So, even though there are vast differences of functionality on the autistic spectrum, I wouldn’t recommend putting autistic people into categories based on how they behave.
Another thing that might be relevant is that I also have anxiety and depression, which can affect how I function. These additional mental illnesses make it hard for me to simply get up and be productive, so I often struggle to fill my day with activities. I struggle with internet addiction, so as a result a lot of my day winds up being filled by random internet browsing or watching YouTube videos because I am bored. I do go out and volunteer, but at this point my schedule is very empty and very much a work in progress.
In addition, it is difficult for me to read people’s expressions. I know when a cat is angry or hungry because I spend a lot of time around them — I have two cats who provide a lot of emotional support for me — but when I look at people’s faces, they look totally blank to me. I can’t read emotions unless they are extreme, and since most emotions are subtle, that means that most of the time, I have to take wild guesses as to what people are thinking. Imagine being surrounded by faceless robots who you can’t understand, yet you are expected to read like a book. That’s how I feel most of the time.
Social stuff in general is often a total mystery to me. I feel like the only two vocal tones I can recognize are neutral and angry. This makes it often feel like people are upset with me when it turns out that they were not. This also means I have trouble using an appropriate tone of voice when talking to others. I tend to scream when I’m angry, because to me that is the only way that I can convey the intensity of what I am feeling. Because I cannot understand tone or utilize tones properly, this can make me very difficult to communicate with.
I also often take out my anger or frustration on the people around me. This makes it easier for me to end friendships than to start them. Since starting friendships is about as easy as learning a new language, this means I do not have a lot of friends and often spend my time feeling lonely. Lately, it seems that it’s easier for me to have online friends or primarily communicate with real-life friends over text, because then I can monitor what I say and I am less likely to have an outburst and wind up alienating my friends. These online friendships have been incredibly meaningful and supportive, but I often feel pressure to make ‘real’ friends and that something is wrong with me because I don’t have large friend groups like others my age might.
By now, you are probably wondering how to communicate with autistic people in such a way that they can understand you and won’t be intimidated by you. Here is some advice that hopefully will make your relationships with autistic people easier:
- Above all, treat them like normal people. It’s okay to ask about why they might do certain behaviors, but don’t mock them or tease them, even if you think you are only joking. They might not get your tone and feel upset.
- Be very straightforward with them. Explain things that might otherwise seem obvious to you. As an autistic person, a lot of subtleties can slip by me and I am sure other autistic people would want everything told to them exactly how it is, even if it means saying something you think they should be able to pick up on without your help.
- Don’t raise your voice or yell. Some autistic people, including yours truly, are very sensitive to noise, and sudden loud noises can upset or scare them.
- Don’t assume that they won’t get your sense of humor. Autism and a good sense of humor are not mutually exclusive. That said, if they ask you to explain a joke, please do so.
These tips are just the beginning of learning to understand and communicate successfully with autistic people. The most important thing you can do is listen, clarify, and be willing to adapt your behavior to make your conversations easier. By following this advice, you will find out in no time that autistic people are so much more than stereotypes make them out to be.
Astrid Liddel is a CBS staff member and blogger publishing under a pseudonym.
We are excited to announce that CBS will open a new location on June 15, 2018, in San Diego! Located at 4025 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 300 in Mission Valley, the San Diego Training Center is on the south side of Interstate 8 and one block east of Interstate 15 — about 8 miles from downtown. It is CBS’ third physical location and is for recruiting and staff training only.
CBS strongly emphasizes staff training and education, and the San Diego Training Center is part of that commitment. If you are interested in joining our passionate team of behavior technicians and consultants, visit our careers page today!
Dr. Joyce Tu, Ed.D, BCBA-D, Director of Center for Behavioral Sciences was an invited lecturer again this week, at Pepperdine University’s Irvine Graduate Campus. Dr. Tu’s presentation was entitled “A Brief Introduction to Effective ABA Programs for Individuals with Autism,” for a class of future clinical psychologists. This provided an overview of ABA and best practices in clinical settings. It is always great to work with a new group of future practitioners, ready to improve lives!
Dr. Tu has over twenty years’ experience providing one-on-one services, training, workshops, and supervision for parents and professionals working with individuals diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities. She is currently an affiliate professor teaching graduate students at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology — focusing primarily on the areas of experimental analysis of behavior, and verbal behavior.
Pepperdine’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology offers rigorous academic programs that prepare students to serve as leaders in their communities, organizations, and businesses.