Frequently Asked Questions
Click on the categories below to find answers to our most frequently asked questions within each area.
What is autism?
Autism (autism spectrum disorder) is a developmental disorder that includes delays in language development and social development. Autism is often characterized by repetitive, stereotyped, and/or self-stimulatory behaviors. Deficits in communication often cause individuals with autism to engage in a variety of problematic behaviors.
What are the signs and symptoms of autism?
The severity of symptoms varies greatly, but all people with autism have some core symptoms in the areas of:
- Social Challenges
- Delays in developing nonverbal communication skills, facial expressions, and body language
- Failure to establish friendships with peers
- Lack of interest in showing crafts, buildings, etc. to peers or adults
- Difficulty understanding the emotions of others
- Communication Difficulties
- Delay in, or lack of, speech
- Difficulties initiating or sustaining communication
- Repeating the same word or phrase over and over
- Difficulty understanding humor, sarcasm, and idioms
- Repetitive Behaviors
- Preoccupation/obsession with certain topics
- A need for predictability and routines
- Stress caused by slight changes, which may lead to outbursts
- Self-simulating behaviors such as body rocking and hand flapping
How common is autism?
Approximately 1 in 59 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder according to the latest numbers from the CDC.
What does it mean to be “on the spectrum”?
Autism is unique in that no two individuals have identical symptoms. Strengths and weaknesses vary drastically from person to person. Because of this, autism operates on what we call a spectrum.
People diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder are said to be "on the spectrum" because while their particular set of symptoms falls under the umbrella of autism, there is no textbook case for this condition. For example, a child may be highly functioning but nonverbal while another may be lower functioning but thrives in social settings.
What should I do if I suspect my child has autism?
Because early intervention is very important, you should act immediately if you suspect that your child may have autism. Autism can be diagnosed as early as 18 months, and it's possible to detect signs of autism even sooner than that.
To schedule a diagnostic evaluation, contact us at 317-849-5437 or click here to fill out our inquiry form.
Why is a diagnosis needed?
A medical diagnosis of autism, Asperger’s syndrome, or PDD-NOS is required to receive insurance authorization of ABA services. These tests are typically performed by a trained clinician, and a multipage report showing the testing and diagnosis results is included.
How long is the average wait time?
Once we receive your doctor referral and all paperwork is completed, your appointment will be scheduled within 48 hours. This is much faster than many other companies.
Who does the testing?
Diagnostic testing is conducted by our licensed Clinical Psychologist.
What does the testing process look like?
Our clinical staff will conduct comprehensive testing with your child at one of our centers. At the conclusion of testing, a verbal report of the findings is often given to families on site, helping eliminate the long wait for answers. Following the evaluation, families will receive a full written report of the test summaries and scores as well as a list of recommendations for steps in moving forward.
What insurance plans cover diagnostic testing?
We are in-network with most insurance providers for diagnostic testing. To check your coverage, contact us today.
How do I schedule a diagnostic evaluation?
Call us at 317-849-5437 or click here to fill out our inquiry form.
What is ABA therapy?
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientific method that focuses on how learning takes place. It addresses how behaviors are formed, established, and how they can be changed.
ABA therapy uses the principles of reinforcement to increase appropriate behaviors and decrease inappropriate behaviors. Strengths are built upon and deficits are replaced with skills in order to help the individual be more successful in his or her environment. Simple changes to the environment are used to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior.
What programs do you offer for teenagers/young adults?
Our L.I.F.E. (Learning In Functional Environments) Program is specifically designed for children and teens ages 10 and older. To learn more about this program click here.
Do you have any other specialized programming?
Absolutely! In addition to our L.I.F.E. Program, our Early Childhood Centers are designed for children ages 7 and under, offering specialized programming for that age range. Occupational therapy and speech therapy are available to any child enrolled at ABC on an as-needed basis. We also offer our 100% effective toilet training program and our desensitization programs, which are designed specifically for hair cutting, dental procedures, medical procedures, dressing, or any situational fear.
Do you offer home programs?
Yes. Home therapy plans can be developed for families located within 5 miles of our centers. Click here to inquire about a home program.
Why do you offer swim lessons?
According to the CDC, drowning is the leading cause of death for individuals with autism. Because of this, it has always been a priority for us to teach children and teens with autism how to swim – in fact, ABC started with our Founder and President, Sherry Quinn, offering swim lessons in her backyard pool. Today, we offer one-of-a-kind special needs swim lessons at the beautiful indoor pool in our Carmel center. To learn more click here.
What is the difference between swim lessons and aquatic therapy?
Our swim lessons are focused on teaching children with autism and other developmental disabilities how to swim, as well as water safety and awareness skills that can prevent dangerous situations in and around the water. Aquatic therapy incorporates occupational therapy goals in a water-based environment, helping improve balance, oral motor skills, sensory sensitivities, and more.
How many locations do you have?
We have 8 locations across Central Indiana: 4 in Indianapolis and one each in Carmel, Greenwood, Richmond, and Terre Haute. To learn about each center click here.
Are you open year-round?
Yes. We do close to observe major national holidays, but otherwise we are open year-round.
What are your center hours?
Monday–Friday: 8:30 AM–4:30 PM
After Care Hours (select locations): Monday–Friday: 4:30–5:30 PM
Is transportation available?
We currently offer transportation routes in select areas. Please contact us with questions concerning this matter. In accordance with Indiana law, all applicable children will be placed in a child restraint or booster seat when being transported. There is a fee associated with this service.
If you are interested in transportation services, please let us know on your inquiry form.
What type of safety measures do you have in place?
The safety of our patients is a top priority for our staff.
- All entrances require special key-cards for access.
- Guests must be buzzed in by the front desk staff, sign in and out, be with a staff member at all times, and wear visitor badges during their stay.
- All staff members undergo an annual full state police background check.
- All buildings are equipped with top-of-the-line security cameras.
- All of our company vans and minivans have in-vehicle security cameras.
- All of our outdoor playgrounds are fully fenced-in.
Do the centers have snow days or weather delays?
Yes. Our closings and delays follow the surrounding school districts (excluding delays/closings for temperatures).
- Indianapolis North: Lawrence Township School District or M.S.D Lawrence Township
- Early Childhood Center: Lawrence Township School District or M.S.D Lawrence Township
- Indianapolis West: Pike Township or M.S.D. Pike Township
- Early Childhood Center - South: Franklin Township Community Schools
- Carmel: Carmel Clay Schools
- Greenwood: Greenwood Community Schools
- Richmond: Richmond Community Schools
- Terre Haute: Vigo County Schools
Are there any out-of-pocket costs?
This is primarily determined by your family’s insurance coverage. We work hard to provide families the exact cost that they can expect. We tell families the exact price down to the dollar.
How do I know if my insurance covers ABA therapy?
We handle 100% of insurance processing on behalf of our families. During your initial contact with us, we will gather your insurance information and inform you of your coverage as soon as possible. To check your coverage, contact us today.
What if my insurance does not cover ABA?
At ABC, our team has researched and pulled together over 20 grants and scholarships available to families to help reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket costs for our services. Please contact us today to find out more about these available funds.
Is there any other funding available?
Absolutely! Between insurance coverage, grants, and scholarships, there are several options available to assist with funding for autism treatment. For more information, visit our funding page.
Who do I contact to check my coverage today?
Call us at 317-849-5437 or click here to fill out our inquiry form.
What do I need to provide for my child?
Each parent will need to bring their child’s own lunch and snack foods. If a child is not fully potty trained, please bring the necessary undergarments and an extra set of clothes. All tablets, toys, and therapy items will be provided by ABC at no cost to families.
Am I allowed to observe my child’s therapy?
Absolutely! Parents are always welcomed and encouraged to visit the center and view their child receiving therapy. We even have special observation rooms dedicated to parent visits. These rooms have two cameras installed for observation purposes, typically via live feed monitors. This allows parents to see therapy first-hand without causing any type of distraction for their child. If you would like to schedule an appointment, contact your child's Program Coordinator.
What should we do if we are struggling at home?
Contact your child’s Program Coordinator. It can be helpful to write down exactly what is happening at home and share it immediately with your child’s team. Your child’s Program Coordinator will discuss any issues with you and determine the best approach to address what is happening at home.
How will I know about my child’s program and progress?
Your child’s Program Coordinator will meet with you face-to-face on a regular basis to keep you informed on your child's program and progress. Additionally, we will give you access to our digital tracking system, which is updated daily. This system tracks each child’s goals, behaviors, and progress. Parents can log in at any time to view the daily updates to their child’s program.