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Frequently Asked Questions

What is autism?

Autism, also known as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), is a developmental disorder that affects communication, social interaction, behavior, and sensory processing. It's called a spectrum disorder because it can range from mild to severe and can present in many different ways.  Some common characteristics of autism include challenges with social interactions, difficulties with verbal and nonverbal communication, sensory sensitivities, resistance to change, restricted or special interests, and overall, a difference in the way they might learn. 

It's essential to recognize that each person with autism is unique, with their own strengths and challenges. While there is no cure for autism, early intervention ABA therapy can help individuals with autism reach their full potential and lead fulfilling lives.

What are the signs of autism?

Recognizing the signs of autism early can lead to timely intervention and support. Here are some common signs of autism in children:

Social Interaction:

  • Lack of or limited eye contact.
  • Difficulty understanding or responding to social cues, such as facial expressions or gestures.
  • Limited interest in playing with peers or sharing enjoyment or achievements with others.
  • Difficulty forming and maintaining friendships.


  • Delayed or absent speech development
  • Difficulty initiating or sustaining conversations.
  • Repetitive language patterns, such as repeating phrases (echolalia) 
  • Difficulty understanding non-literal language, such as sarcasm or idioms.

Repetitive Behaviors and Restricted Interests:

  • Engaging in repetitive movements or behaviors, like hand-flapping, rocking, or spinning objects.
  • Fixation on specific interests or topics,
  • Adherence to strict routines and resistance to changes in schedule or environment.
  • Sensory sensitivities or aversions to certain sensory stimuli, like loud noises, bright lights, or certain textures.

Developmental Milestones:

  • Delays or differences in reaching developmental milestones, such as sitting, crawling, walking, or talking.
  • Regression in previously acquired skills, such as loss of language or social abilities.

It's important to note that not all children with autism will exhibit all of these signs, and the severity of symptoms can vary widely from person to person. Additionally, some signs may become more apparent as a child grows and faces new social and academic challenges.

If you suspect that your child or someone you know may have autism, it's essential to seek an evaluation by a qualified healthcare professional, such as a pediatrician, developmental pediatrician, or child psychologist. Early intervention services, such as behavioral interventions, can make a significant difference in the lives of individuals with autism.

How is autism treated / what is ABA therapy

The most empirically validated therapy for individuals with autism is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. ABA therapy is a therapeutic approach based on the principles of learning and behavior. It is widely used to support individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, although it can also be applied to various other populations and contexts.

ABA therapy focuses on understanding and modifying behavior in meaningful ways by breaking down complex skills into smaller, manageable components. The goal is to increase desirable behaviors and decrease undesirable ones through systematic assessment, observation, and intervention. ABA therapy is a proven approach to increasing communication, social skills, independent living skills, and reducing challenging behavior in individuals with autism.

What age range do you service

Our Rise Up for Autism program services children ages 2-6, or in other words, a child must enroll in services before they enter first grade. Our goal is to make such efficient progress that children age out of our ABA program when it is time for them to transition to first grade. However, there are circumstances that a child might stay in the program past age 6, specifically if the clinician suggests that more ABA therapy would be useful to better prepare a child for school.

Is this center based or home based?

We provide ABA therapy in a center and our model mimics a traditional school setting with access to social activities like circle time, music, art, and dance. Research has shown that center based ABA therapy is more effective than home based ABA therapy in teaching more skills in a shorter period of time. Benefits of center based therapy include a structured environment, access to peers to target daily social skills training, on-site Board Certified Behavior Analysts, and access to specialized equipment and materials.

What is the cost/what insurance do you accept?

We are in network with BCBS, Aetna, Optum/United, and some HMO’s. Please contact us directly and our billing team would be happy to run a verification of benefits to see if ABA therapy is covered under your plan. See below for information on how we help families with Medicaid. 

Upon checking your benefits, our outreach team will explain the costs of therapy. This can range depending on the insurance coverage you have. However, our mission at Rise Up is to make services more accessible and therefore, we provide payment plans, financial assistance, and grants to help minimize costs associated with therapy.

Does Rise Up For Autism accept medicaid for ABA therapy?

Medicaid only recently began covering ABA therapy in Illinois, and given some restrictions imposed by accepting this plan, many providers, including Rise Up for Autism, have opted out of accepting Medicaid at this time.

Instead, Rise Up for Autism, along with trusted insurance specialists, will assist families in purchasing a private insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act, which will allow for easier access to ABA therapy and other services. Rise Up also offers grants and payment plans to help reduce the costs associated with private insurance plans.