Center for Autism and Related Disorders Commends California for Covering Applied Behavior Analysis for Additional Diagnoses

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CARD welcomes DHCS announcement that Medi-Cal enrollees will have access to medically necessary applied behavior analysis.

Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) welcomes the announcement from the State of California’s Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) that Medi-Cal will cover behavioral health treatment, including applied behavior analysis (ABA), regardless of an eligible beneficiary’s diagnosis. Earlier this year, DHCS announced that Medi-Cal enrollees under 21 whose diagnosis may benefit from ABA, as determined by a physician or psychologist, have access to behavioral health treatment.

“ABA has been shown to be effective in the treatment of many diagnoses, such as substance use disorder, Down Syndrome, and eating disorders, to name a few,” said Michelle LaBruzzi, MA, BCBA. “We are looking forward to expanding the families we can help in addition to those in the autism community.”

CARD is the world’s largest provider of top-quality, evidence-based behavioral health treatment. Through a network of highly trained behavior analysts, behavior technicians, and researchers, CARD develops and implements quality, individualized treatment programs that help individuals fulfill their potential and thrive in their communities.

CARD services are available in CARD centers and patient homes, schools, and communities. CARD pioneered the center-based model when researchers documented that individuals acquire skills in a center-based program at approximately twice the pace as in a home setting.

In addition to communication, adaptive, play, and motor skills, CARD’s unique curriculum builds on these foundational skills to develop more advanced social, cognition, and executive function skills, such as understanding sarcasm, solving social and non-social problems, and identifying metaphors. These skills optimize socialization skills and help patients experience positive social interactions with their peers and family members.

“We are happy to see California take the lead in expanding access to applied behavior analysis for our Medi-Cal community,” said Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D, founder of CARD.

In addition to traditional 1:1 intensive ABA programs, CARD offers focused ABA programs and several targeted programs, including feeding, pill swallowing, social skills groups, short and long-term treatment of severe problem behavior, and more focused parent training. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to participate in parent/caregiver training, which is available during non-traditional work hours and online.

For more information, call (818) 345-2345 or visit CARD online at To find a location near you, visit

About Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)
CARD treats individuals of all ages who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at treatment centers around the globe. CARD was founded in 1990 by leading autism expert and licensed psychologist Doreen Granpeesheh, PhD, BCBA-D. CARD treats individuals with ASD using the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA), which is empirically proven to be the most effective method for treating individuals with ASD and recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Surgeon General. CARD has over 200 locations throughout the United States. For more information, visit

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Christian Gutierrez
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