According to the Autism Society of America, autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the United States. One in 54 children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, totaling over 5 million young people and adults.
Fort Bend County resident Grace Kong said her son, Bryan, was having behavioral problems at home and school and she was seeking assistance to help him succeed.
Through the HHS Children’s Autism Program (CAP), Kong was referred to applied behavior analysis (ABA), and Bryan has been receiving treatment since he was about 11 years old.
Kong said the behavioral analysts treating Bryan, who is now 15, accompanied her to a meeting with school officials to develop an individualized education program that incorporates the strategies they use for her son.
Since 2013, the CAP has provided more than 600,000 hours of ABA services to Texas children ages 3-15 who have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum. These services are provided through contracts with local community agencies and organizations. Services may take place at home, a clinic or familiar settings in the community.
ABA uses behavioral principles to evaluate and teach socially relevant behavior and new skills while encouraging desirable behaviors through positive reinforcement. ABA treatment is the most recommended evidence-based treatment for autism, and services are developed with each family based on the child’s needs.
In order to qualify for ABA services a child must be diagnosed by a licensed doctor or psychologist who is trained and has a background in treating neurodevelopmental disorders.
To find your nearest CAP provider, use the clinic locator for the Office of Primary and Specialty Health, call 512-776-3040 from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Central time Monday through Friday, or email Debbie Bridge, CAP policy coordinator.