A behaviorial treatment for students on the autism spectrum has been praised for its effectiveness — but it’s not required to be covered by health insurance in North Carolina.
Applied behavioral analysis is a form of therapy that helps people with autism reduce problematic behaviors and acquire skills such as language learning through the use of reinforcement.
Legislators, educators and health officials hope to soon see a mandate that the treatment be covered by insurers.
Applied behavioral analysis has a broad definition and is used in settings outside of psychological treatment, said Victoria Shea, a professor of psychology at UNC who works with TEACCH, a UNC-based service organization that works with people with autism.
“It’s a way of applying learning principles and seeing the effect of that application,” she said.