min read
November 27, 2023

ABA Therapy Cost Breakdown and How to Afford It

ABA therapy can cost as much as $249,600 every year or $9,600 every month. We break down the cost and show you different ways to afford ABA therapy for your child.

Written by the apricott team

ABA Therapy
ABA Therapy Cost Breakdown

Applied behavioral analysis (ABA) is crucial in the development of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

It involves the study of human behavior to evaluate how to best assist children with ASD and help them gain better communication and social skills.

Like most forms of therapy, it’s costly, which may serve as a hindrance to some parents in pursuing it.

However, when it comes to the well-being and development of your child, ABA therapy cost shouldn’t serve as a barrier.

ABA Therapy Costs per Hour, Week and Year

First and foremost, it’s important to state that the exact cost of ABA therapy can vary significantly based on a variety of factors.

It’s vital to do research into ABA therapists near you to gain better insight into what you can expect to pay, but here’s a general breakdown into what you can expect.

Hourly Costs

The typical hourly rate for ABA therapy hovers around $120.

A single session may last between two and five hours depending on the needs of the child.

Weekly Costs

Many children with ASD require between 20 and 30 hours of ABA therapy a week.

Some children may need up to 40 hours, but those are rare.

when it comes to the well-being and development of your child, ABA therapy cost shouldn’t serve as a barrier

Yearly Costs

Depending on how many hours of ABA therapy your child needs per week, you can expect to spend anywhere between $62,400 and $249,600 annually.

However, those are out-of-pocket costs without health insurance utilized, so there’s no need to panic just yet.

ABA Therapy Costs Across the U.S.

It’s natural to find yourself Googling, “How much does ABA therapy cost near me?” Location certainly impacts the overall price in addition to other factors.

Average ABA Costs in the U.S.

You’re likely to find that most ABA therapists charge between $120 and $150 per hour regardless of what state you live in.

ABA Therapy Costs in Georgia

ABA therapy costs can vary depending on where exactly in Georgia you live. Most ABA therapists practice in the larger cities, so you’re bound to find more of them in Atlanta than in smaller areas. Even there, a board-certified ABA therapist is likely to charge the $120-$150/hour cost as mentioned previously.

Factors That Affect Cost

In addition to location, the precise therapy plan your child needs can impact the final price. ABA sessions require anywhere between 10 and 40 hours per week, which affect cost.

ABA therapy costs can vary depending on where exactly in Georgia you live

The therapist’s certification and experience also play roles. It has been known to happen for people to exaggerate or flat out lie about their qualifications, so you need to ensure the therapist you send your child to is properly qualified to help them.

Ways to Afford ABA Therapy

Fortunately, you don’t have to be on your own in paying for ABA therapy. There are ways to make the payments more manageable regardless of your income level.

Financial Planning

First, it’s important to become financially literate when looking at long-term care. The lifetime cost of a person with autism can range between $1.4 million and $2.4 million depending on the extent of the condition. Other healthcare expenses should be anticipated in addition to ABA therapy, so it’s important to look at your finances and determine the best course of action.

Insurance Coverage

The good news is that many health insurance plans cover some or all of the cost of ABA therapy. It varies by plan and state, so contact your insurance provider to see what it entails.

The good news is that many healthinsurance plans cover some or all of the cost of ABA therapy. It varies by planand state, so contact your insurance provider to see what it entails.

In Georgia, ABA therapy is not explicitly covered, so you may need to do more digging. However, in states like Arkansas, ABA therapy is covered provided it’s done by a board-certified behavioral analyst.

Employer Assistance

Some companies offer ABA therapy assistance for their employees. Again, you’ll need to consult with your individual employer to see what they can do for you, if anything.


Certain grants exist to assist parents with children with ASD. Some of the bigger ones you can look into include:

●      ACT Today!

●      CARE Family Grant Program

●      Chrysalis Fund

●      First Hand

●      FODAC

●      ASDF Social Skills Camp

●      Small Steps in Speech

Other grants may be available to you. Make sure to do your research to see what your family qualifies for.

State Funding

Certain states may provide ABA therapy coverage. For example, Medicaid of Georgia covers some of the ABA therapy cost per hour under certain circumstances and with specific limits in place.

The Katie Beckett waiver is another important resource for families.

Named after a child with complex medical needs, this waiver provides Medicaid coverage to children with developmental differences or disabilities, regardless of their family's income.

There are additional benefits offered for families by Katie Beckett for autism treatment.

It's designed to help families afford essential medical care and therapies, such as ABA therapy, that they might not otherwise be able to access.

Check if your state offers the Katie Beckett waiver and whether your child qualifies for this program, as it can significantly reduce the financial burden of ongoing therapeutic needs.

Is ABA Therapy Worth the Expenses?

Even with financial assistance, some families may still need to pay for autism services out-of-pocket. ABA therapy has been proven to be effective, particularly when it’s started early in a child’s life. A child can typically gain motor, social, and communication skills more quickly than without it. To do what’s best for your child, it’s certainly worth it to do everything in your power to pay for the services.

Additional FAQs

Is ABA Expensive?

On its own, some families may need to pay hundreds upon thousands of dollars annually. However, there are services in place to help pay for ABA therapy, and children with less severe ASD may not require as much therapy as others.

How Much Is ABA Therapy Out-of-Pocket?

Depending on how often your child requires ABA therapy and other factors, you can expect to pay roughly $120-$150 per hour without any financial assistance.

How Do People Afford ABA Therapy?

Many families rely on health insurance, grants, and state funding to help cover some or all of the cost. It’s vital to look into multiple avenues to try to reduce how much you spend on ABA therapy out-of-pocket.

Why Does ABA Cost So Much?

ABA therapists often hold master’s degrees and require a ton of extensive training to specifically cater to children with ASD. As such, their time is held at a premium. It can also require a lot of time, which also expounds upon the price. For best results, it’s crucial to send your child to someone with the necessary qualifications so that your child benefits as much as possible.






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