The DARS Autism Program provides two classifications of applied behavioral analysis (ABA) treatment: focused and comprehensive. The services are provided through grant contracts with local community agencies and organizations that provide focused and comprehensive ABA treatment services.

What is the DARS Autism Program focused ABA treatment?

Focused ABA treatment is targeted to address a few specific outcomes instead of all developmental needs of the child. It is particularly useful when children have challenging behaviors and when improvements in social and adaptive skills ae sought. Focused ABA treatment is used to target specific behaviors. The treatment may be to:

  • minimize a challenging behavior; or
  • maximize a social or adaptive skill in a specific area.

A trained therapist provides treatment on the specific behavior. The level and intensity of treatment should be driven by the child's needs. Since the therapist is focusing on specifically defined behavior, the treatment period is shorter. The treatment through the DARS Autism Program is limited to 30 hours per month with a six-month limit in a twelve-month period.

A child is eligible for focused ABA treatment through the DARS Autism Program if the child:

  • has a documented diagnosis on the autism spectrum made by a qualified professional;
  • is three through 15 years of age (services end on the child's 16th birthday); and
  • is a Texas resident.

The length of treatment received in any combination of DARS Autism Program ABA treatments is limited to a maximum of 24 months during the child’s lifetime.

What is the DARS Autism Program comprehensive ABA treatment?

Enrollment in the DARS Autism Program Comprehensive ABA treatment services is not available after August 31, 2015.Comprehensive ABA treatment will be provided to these children until their eligibility expires.

Comprehensive ABA treatment is used to treat children with multiple developmental and behavioral needs. These include, but are not limited to, communication, social skills, academic skills, self-help skills, and challenging behavior. The intensity of treatment is determined by assessing the child's need using research-based tools.

Since the therapist is focusing on multiple developmental and behavioral needs, the treatment is 16-20 hours per week for 24 consecutive months.

A child is eligible for comprehensive ABA treatment if the child:

  • has a documented diagnosis on the autism spectrum made by a qualified professional;
  • has multiple needs determined by an assessment that can be most appropriately addressed through DARS Comprehensive ABA services;
  • is three through five years of age (services end on the child's sixth birthday); and
  • is a Texas resident.

The length of treatment received in any combination of DARS Autism Program ABA treatments is limited to a maximum of 24 months during the child’s lifetime.