How Much Does ABA Therapy Cost?

Applied behavior analysis therapy, or ABA therapy, has proven to be one of the most effective treatments for children with autism. Using a multi-pronged, reward-based approach, ABA therapists help children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder learn the communication and everyday skills they need to thrive in life.

ABA therapy has been used for many years to improve the lives of children, integrating families into the process to make it more effective.

One challenge for families in regard to ABA therapy, though, is how much ABA therapy costs. Depending on how much therapy your child needs, it could be quite an expensive proposition.

Luckily, there are some options to help parents afford the effective ABA therapy that their children need.

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What is the Average ABA Therapy Cost?

ABA therapy costs can range dramatically based on where you are located. Some states have a general higher cost of living than others, which in turn can increase the cost of everything — from everyday necessities to ABA therapy.

Other factors that could affect ABA therapy cost is how many hours of therapy your child needs per week, the experience levels of the ABA therapy, whether the ABA therapy will occur in a clinic or in the home, as well as the availability of ABA therapists in your location.

In general, though, the average cost to work with an ABA therapist who is board certified is $120 per hour. Projecting that number out based on how many hours per week your child may need can show a potentially scary financial burden.

For instance, if your child requires 10 hours of ABA therapy per week, that would project to $62,400 for the year. Many children with autism require at least 10 hours every week of ABA therapy to see significant results, with many others requiring even more.

This would put quite the financial burden on any family, regardless of their financial circumstances. It also plays into the estimate from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that children with ASD could require from $17,000 to $21,000 in additional care annually than neurotypical children.

How Do Families Pay for the ABA Therapy Cost?

The above begs the question, how do families pay for the ABA therapy cost? There are a number of different options, actually.

The first option is perhaps the least attractive — private direct pay. In this scenario, families would pay for the full ABA therapy cost out of their pocket, without any outside assistance. While families may be able to get a discount from the ABA therapy provider if they are a private pay, it likely still will cost them much more than other options.

Increasingly, ABA therapy is often covered by insurance companies. This is happening as the number of children being diagnosed with ASD is seemingly increasing every year.

How much ABA therapy would cost in this scenario would depend on your individual insurance plan. It’s a good idea to contact your insurance company to find out an estimate of the ABA therapy cost under your plan.

Below are three other potential options for covering the ABA therapy cost.

Financial Assistance

Families who don’t have access to health insurance that covers ABA therapy might be able to qualify for financial assistance and/or scholarships from certain financial centers.

Research on this can be done online, allowing parents to find potential financial centers that might offer assistance to them to pay for the cost of ABA therapy. There likely will be an application process and certain criteria you will have to make to qualify.

But, if you do qualify, this financial assistance could help you lower the overall ABA therapy cost.


Some school districts offer ABA therapy services to children who are diagnosed with ASD. In most cases, a child study team will conduct assessments and confer with outside assessments that are done by medical professionals to determine what the child’s needs are.

If it’s determined that your child requires ABA therapy, it’s possible that this therapy will be covered 100% by the school district. This therapy would likely be given in the school environment by a board-certified ABA therapist who the school district hires or already has on staff.


Some states mandate that ABA therapy be covered by insurance companies, while others provide grant programs that help parents pay for the cost of the therapy.

Massachusetts, for instance, requires that all insurers provide coverage for ABA therapy, and also offers grants to help offset the ABA therapy cost. Indiana also offers special grants for the therapy and mandates insurance coverage.

Some other states even require that ABA therapy has no “cost-of-coverage limit.” This includes Maryland, New Jersey, Washington and Indiana.

Trust ABA Therapy Services Provided by Blue Gems ABA

While there can be sticker shock with the average ABA therapy cost, there are many resources for families to help them shoulder the financial burden. If your child has been diagnosed with ASD and needs ABA therapy, research the various financial assistance options available to you based on your health insurance, your child’s school district and where you live.

If you’re looking for the best ABA therapy provider, look no further than Blue Gems ABA. Our experienced and licensed professionals have been administering ABA therapy to children with autism for years now, helping them build the skills they need to succeed in life.

For more information, contact us today.