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Intensive Therapy Effective For Autism Treatment

About one in 59 children are now identified as having an autism spectrum disorder. It's four times more common among boys than girls.

Angela Kennecke, Keloland, Feb 11, 2019

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Rates of autism in children are rising.

About one in 59 children are now identified as having an autism spectrum disorder. It's four times more common among boys than girls.

But some therapies, especially if performed early, can help children with autism progress in their development.

Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, has been around since the 1960's--so that means there's a lot of data on it to show that it works.

Many children with autism can act out with unwanted behaviors and that can affect their ability to learn.
Applied Behavior Analysis works to increase helpful behaviors and decrease the harmful ones.

"Like a month after, he was speaking two to three word sentences; making eye contact," Darcy Weber said.

ABA has been shown to:

Increase language and communication skills.
Improve attention, focus, social skills, memory and academics.
Decrease problem behaviors.

"Our doctors told us to do ABA; online told us to do ABA. All of the books and research said Applied Behavior Analysis," Lindsey Janklow said.

Nearly every state now requires that insurance companies cover ABA for children with autism. South Dakota became one of them in 2015. But as these parents recently found out that law does not extend to the policies they have on their children.

"No right to appeal, just not covered. So I was shocked," Janklow said.

So what went wrong that cut off these children from getting coverage for ABA?

KELOLAND's Angela Kennecke will ask the insurance companies what happened and find out what lawmakers are trying to do to get their coverage back on Treatment for Autism Denied Monday night on KELOLAND News at 10.

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