Your child develops more in the first years of life than in any other period. At BCI, we understand that early intervention is critical to the long-term success of children with developmental delays and/or autism.
We currently offer early intervention (EI) services in Massachusetts and southern and central Vermont. Find out about our EI services in Massachusetts below, and click here to learn about our services in southern and central Vermont.
EI Services in Massachusetts
One of the only approved statewide providers of Early Intervention in Massachusetts, BCI offers a family-focused program dedicated to finding success for our youngest learners with an early autism diagnosis. Our team of highly-skilled board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) specialize in early intervention and utilize the Early Start Denver Model for assessment, in addition to applied behavior analysis (ABA), an evidence-based, scientifically proven intervention therapy, to work closely with your child and family members in your home and community. Our goal is to help your child develop significantly in the areas of communication, play skills, social skills, and personal independence. Using a play-based teaching model, our team promotes independence and learning in sessions that are fun and engaging. You can expect to see us on the floor, working through the context of play at your child’s level!
Through formal assessments, direct observations, and collaboration with other specialty service providers, our BCBAs continuously monitor your child’s functional and behavioral capabilities—and summarize the findings in a one-page treatment plan. Updated every six months, the plan includes goals and objectives for your child’s treatment and is an evolving document that changes as your child grows and makes progress.
Beyond the “early intervention” period, which ends at age three in Massachusetts, BCI remains a valued resource, supporting your family before, during, and after the discharge process. Prior to age-out, BCI strives to make a seamless transition from your child’s early intervention program into insurance-funded services. By completing this process before age-out, we prevent any disruption to the current services in place. Additionally, your supervising BCBA can help your family navigate the transition to pre-school.
How the Early Intervention Process Works
Once your child’s diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder is confirmed, your service coordinator will send you a referral to ABA providers in your area so you can schedule an intake meeting.
The intake meeting is simply an information session, during which you learn about a specific ABA program and the services in your home and community it provides. Here, you can ask about the hours of services per week—and anything else that will help you determine whether the program is the best fit for your family.
If your family chooses BCI, the assessment process comes next. Our team will request an authorization to complete an initial assessment from your insurance provider, a process that can take anywhere from one to two weeks. Through formal assessment, our clinical team will determine your child’s specific areas of need, based on developmental milestones in areas of communication, social skills, play and leisure skills, self-care, personal independence, and behavior.
Following the assessment, our specialists draft a treatment plan that outlines the assessment results with a summary of findings. Also included are goals and objectives tailored to your child’s individual needs.
Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) Meeting
Next, your early intervention provider and BCBA will meet with you to review the treatment plan in detail. From there, they will work with you to determine the specific early intervention services your child will receive, including where, when, and how the services will be delivered. All of this will be recorded on the service grid in your IFSP.
Early intervention ends when your child turns three. To prevent a disruption of ABA therapy, and depending on your insurance coverage, BCI will work with you prior to the aging-out process to obtain an insurance authorization for continuation of treatment. This simply means that we are requesting to continue ABA therapy through your insurance. By starting this process four to six weeks before your child’s third birthday, we can ensure an authorization in time to prevent a break in service.
In addition to Massachusetts, we provide early intervention services to infants and toddlers (up to age three) with developmental delays and/or autism across southern and central Vermont. Our southern service area includes greater Bennington, Arlington, Brattleboro, and Manchester. Our central service area includes Barre, Northfield, Williamstown, Randolph, Montpelier, Berlin, and Orange.
The state of Vermont requires you to first obtain a referral for EI services from your regional EI center or a pediatrician. Once you have a referral, services can begin—and are covered by insurance.
We start by assessing your child’s functional and behavioral capabilities, utilizing the Early Start Denver Model for Assessment. Next, we partner with you to develop a play-based therapy program to help your child overcome challenges and achieve goals. ABA treatment then beings in your home, childcare location, and/or community, with our talented, passionate team working one-on-one with your child and family.
Beyond Age Three
When your child ages out of early intervention, at age three, treatment can continue seamlessly with BCI’s full range of ABA services, occurring in your home, community, daycare—and our new Learning Center, coming soon to your area.
Our Learning Centers provide a fun yet structured, classroom-like setting in which your child learns new skills in communication, play, socialization, and self-care. Services take place one-one-one and in small groups (with one-on-one support) during the day, after school, and on Saturdays, depending on evolving needs.
For services beyond age three, BCI accepts most major private insurance plans, in addition to VT Medicaid. We can help you navigate the insurance process.