Serving Families in Chattanooga and Surrounding Areas

(423) 664-0903

Frequently Asked Questions

Finding the right care for yourself or loved one can be overwhelming. If you have any questions, please reach out and speak with a member of our team that can help guide you through the process.

What is Applied Behaior Analysis?

Applied Behavior Analysis is the application of techniques based on scientific principles of behavior to improve socially important behaviors and decrease problematic behaviors to a meaningful degree (Cooper, Heron, Heward 1987). For more information go to the following websites:,,

What is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst?

A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is a professional who has expertise in conducting behavioral assessments, interpreting data; developing and supervising behavior intervention programs. For more information, go to:

How long does it take to get started?

The amount of time it takes to get stated varies based on a number of factors. Please call our office at 423-664-0903 and one of our staff will be happy to let you know if we currently have a wait list.

Where do therapy sessions take place?

We can offer therapy settings in the clinic, home, or community settings.

How many hours do you recommend?

The numbers of hours are dependent on several factors including availability of client due to other therapies or school, availability of tutors, and availability of BCBA. Our goal is to get the child caught up to typical skill level or their fullest potential as fast as possible. We would prefer to provide therapy 6-8 hours per week for 1 year rather than 1 hour per week for 4 years.  Our goal is to teach the child all the skills he/she needs to master to be able to function in a typical classroom independently.

How often is therapy?

Each client will be assessed by a BCBA to determine a proposed treatment plan and recommended number of therapy hours.  ABA is considered an intense therapy and at ABS we require a minimum commitment of 4 hours per week.

Is ABA just for young children who are diagnosed with autism?

No, ABA is effective for all children and all disabilities. Autism and Behavior Services serves ages 2-21.

What is the benefit of having behavioral therapy in a clinic setting?

Parents can maintain their home as a sanctuary rather than a “business.” Having therapists come in and out of the home can be disruptive to siblings and other members of the family.   Parents can be parents rather than having to be program manager. Parents won’t have to worry about hiring, firing, scheduling and paying many different therapists. Parents who choose to run an ABA home program have to usually designate 1 room for the child’s therapy and all his/her therapy materials. If you are living in smaller quarters or just don’t have space, ABS is the place to be. Children also need to learn outside the room which means that therapy occurs all over your house which can be disruptive to other children and activities that occur in the home.

Also, Parents don’t have to worry about buying many different therapy supplies that are only to be used for a few weeks while the child learns the skill. ABS has spent a lot of money on toys, supplies and therapy materials. Toys are what motivate children. If you don’t have what motivates the child, this can make for a child who acquires skills slowly and possibly has problem behaviors. Buying many toys to keep the child motivated and engaged can be very timely and costly.  As mentioned above children are motivated by toys. Often times the toys that are most special to the child should be saved for therapy. If the child is allowed to play with his/her favorite toy during free time, he/she may not be motivated to play with the toy when demands are placed on the child. Having therapy at ABS is an easy way to keep home and “school” separate.


What methodologies do you use within Applied Behavior Analysis?

Applied Behavior Analysis is a broad field with a variety of evidence based teaching methodologies . Staff at ABS individualized our instruction based on each child’s learning style. Some of the methodologies that ABS uses under Applied Behavior Analysis are discrete trial teaching, incidental teaching, structured teaching, and verbal behavior. We also combine strategies and state of the art practice from many of autism and intervention centers around the country including: Princeton Child Development Institute, Vanderbilt Milieu Language Project, TEACCH, The Carbone Clinic and the individual research of Koegel, Lovaas, Charlop, Schreibman, Dunlap, Schopler, Favell, etc.

Do you take insurance?

We are in network with the following insurances:  Aetna, Cigna, BCBST Federal and Commercial plans, Humana, United Behavioral Health, Beacon Health Options, Tenncare Select, BlueCare, Tricare, BCBS GA.  Coverage can vary from plan to plan so being in network does not guarantee that your plan covers ABA services. We are happy to help determine your medical insurance eligibility.

How much does it cost?

 Private pay with a BCBA costs $60 per hour. During the assessment p hase a BCBA will see the child for 5 2-hour sessions and make recommendations for how many hours they recommend as well as their recommended treatment plan.

If you are interested in tiered-level services, you can choose to have some of the treatment plan carried out by a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT).  Sessions with a RBT are $40/hour. The RBT will need to be supervised by a BCBA for a minimum of 5% of their total hours at the BCBA rate of $60. This is so that the BCBA can modify the treatment plan as needed to ensure the client is making progress with the program.


Will my child haave to miss school?

Our time slots are on a first come, first serve basis.  If an appointment slot is during school hours, the appointment is considered medically necessary and most schools excuse the absence.