Applied Behavior Analysis Talking Points

Audiologists and especially SLPs are critical members of the multidisciplinary team that assesses and treats children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). If legislation and/or regulations are introduced in your state that would otherwise impact access to your services, below are some talking points to advocate for yourself.

What can you do to ensure that legislation and/or regulations include access to all appropriate services?

  • Contact ASHA at or your state association to determine whether legislation and/or regulations on this issue have been introduced in your state.
  • Verify that the proposed language includes audiologists and SLPs in any comprehensive assessment for individuals with ASD.
  • Ensure that the proposed language includes access to the full range of services to meet individual needs.
  • Work with ASHA and your state association to educate legislators and/or regulators on the SLP’s skills and educational background as well as on the coordinated planning that is required for individuals with ASD to achieve communication success.
  • Provide examples of situations where SLPs were not included in the decision-making process for assessment of individuals with ASD, and share real-life examples of those who were unable to make effective progress on communication goals due to the lack of appropriate intervention from all qualified providers.
  • Respond to requests from ASHA and your state association to send letters to your legislators and/or regulators on this issue.
  • Attend hearings, and provide testimony on how the issue affects you personally.

What can you do to advocate with insurance companies?

  • Work with ASHA and your state association to educate insurers about the importance of including SLPs in treating individuals with ASD.
  • Inform insurance companies of the skills and educational background that SLPs have to help children achieve communication success.
  • Refer to ASHA’s Payer Portal on ASD for more information on insurance reimbursement for services.

What can you do to advocate with other specialists?

  • Educate ABA therapists and other providers on the specialized skills that SLPs provide to individuals with ASD.
  • Continue to encourage that a multidisciplinary approach be utilized in the assessment and treatment of individuals with ASD, as the law requires.
  • Promote collaboration among team members to maximize resources and ensure the best outcomes for every individual with ASD.
  • Work with parent and consumer organizations to promote the services of SLPs when treating the communication needs of individuals with ASD.
  • Refer to ASHA’s resources on interprofessional practice (IPP) and working with two or more professions providing care.

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