What makes Positive Pathways different from other programs? 

We focus on play-based ABA at Positive Pathways. This promotes greater motivation and engagement and helps your child use their new skills in many different settings. Also, play-based ABA lets our programs be the right fit for your child’s unique strengths. The goal of therapy is to help children be the best version of themselves and lead happy successful lives. Meanwhile, we bring the family into every aspect of our programming. We’re not only working with your child, but with the entire family system. Our goal is also to listen to our families and build strong and lasting relationships. We strive to be open, communicative, flexible, and deeply collaborative to create the best program for your child and family.

How does my child obtain services?

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Due to the Autism Insurance Mandate SB 946, passed in California in 2012, all children diagnosed on the autism spectrum qualify for Applied Behavior Analysis through their insurance. Also, SB 946 mandates that there are no limits or caps on the number of hours of ABA, the dollar amount of coverage, or the age of the child. All of this is determined case-by-case by medical necessity. This means that Positive Pathways can serve almost any child referred to us because we are in-network with most major insurance carriers and Medi-cal. We believe every child should have access to high-quality ABA services no matter their family’s financial status.

When a child is referred to us by a parent or caseworker, we work with your insurance company or Medi-cal to obtain an initial authorization for an assessment. Our assessment phase takes 6 to 8 weeks. During the evaluation, we work closely with your family to identify goals and hopes for your child. We also conduct our assessment, which uses well-researched tools in the field.

Our assessments typically include one of the following:

  • Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP)
  • Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-III  (VABS-III)
  • We also conduct a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) to identify the function of target behaviors we would like to decrease, like tantrums, aggression, or self-injury. We then identify replacement behaviors we would like to see increased, like appropriate functional communication


How much therapy does my child need?

This depends on your child’s current abilities and is determined after the initial assessment. However, research shows that an early intervention ABA program is most effective with 20-40 hours per week. Once children enter school, we typically fade services to 10-20 hours per week, depending on their needs. Early intervention services occur during a crucial time in your child’s development. Receiving high-quality one-on-one ABA therapy during this time is important for future progress.

Why is early intervention so important?

Research shows that children who receive intensive early intervention services experience significantly improved outcomes. These include positive growth in communication, socials skills, and adaptive behaviors. When children are young, the brain is still very flexible, and long-lasting behavioral changes are possible. Early intervention ABA therapy encourages positive changes in the brain.

Where does Positive Pathways provide services?

We provide autism services in our centers, homes, community, and school settings. Additionally, we deliver services across settings to promote the generalization of skills. We work collaboratively with pre-schools, daycares, and community-based centers.

What is play-based ABA?

Positive Pathways believes that your child’s treatment should be as engaging as possible and take place in real-life settings. That’s why we use play-based ABA using elements of Pivotal Response Training (PRT), Natural Environment Teaching (NET), and components of the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM). Our programs focus on child-led activities (versus adult-directed). This way, we can improve communication skills and social skills while reducing less desired behavior through positive replacement behaviors.

What age range does Positive Pathways service?

We provide early intervention services for children as young as 18 months old.

Do you have any testimonials on your website?

We take our learners’ confidentiality seriously and do not post testimonials per our ethical code.

At Positive Pathways, we want to help your child learn the skills to thrive. If you have questions beyond this autism FAQ or want to find out more about the services we offer, contact us at 650.260.4670.

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