Multicultural Community Services of the Pioneer Valley, Inc.

Applied Behavior Analysis

Multicultural Community Services (MCS) has been supporting individuals who have developmental and intellectual disabilities and their families for over 30 years. We are pleased to offer a new support model for individuals who have Autism and their families – ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) services. These services have become available through the advocacy of families and are paid for by private insurance plans (ARICA law).

What is ABA?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the science of behavior and identifying maintaining factors for both positive and potentially harmful behavior. ABA therapy uses evidence-based assessment tools, interventions, and data collection to modify potentially harmful behaviors into safe and appropriate behavior. One of the many uses of ABA is to treat individuals diagnosed with Autism and other developmental disabilities. The ultimate goal of ABA is to establish and enhance socially important behaviors.

On August 3, 2010, Massachusetts signed into law Chapter 207, An Act Relative to Insurance Coverage for Autism (ARICA). This law went into effect on January 1, 2011. It requires health insurers in Massachusetts to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Due to some restrictions in the law, some insurance plans may not be required to provide coverage under ARICA. Contacting your insurance company directly is the best way to find out if your insurance plan is required to cover services as outlined in the law.

The following treatments are covered under the ARICA law:

    • Habilitative or Rehabilitative Care
    • Pharmacy Care
    • Psychiatric Care
    • Psychological Care
    • Therapeutic Care

The diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders under the ARICA law is not subject to any coverage limits (annual or lifetime) and there is no age limit for a person receiving these services.

ABA Services Provided by MCS

In-Home Services

Our goal at MCS is to provide high-quality ABA services within our clients’ (ages 3 and up) homes and communities. This is accomplished through working collectively with our clients and their loved ones to develop treatment plans that are unique to our clients’ needs.

Parent Training

Parent Participation is crucial. No one knows the child/adult better than you! When a parent is actively participating in ABA therapy with their child, they are learning the skills that they need to help their child succeed to the best of their abilities. Research has shown, that parent/guardian involvement increases like likelihood of successful outcomes. Here at MCS we have a commitment to providing hands-on parent training to give you the tools your family needs to succeed.

Social Skills Groups

We offer social skills groups provided by our talented group of BCBA, RBT, and ABA Therapists where they break down specific complex social skills (e.g., greetings, turn taking, non-verbal body language, joining a group, etc.) into smaller components which are taught systematically. Child placement is made through assessment of skills and age appropriateness. Our social skills team uses only evidence-based interventions with our groups, while also ensuring that the children are having fun interacting and playing with their peers. Don’t worry, you will have daily updates on your child’s progress at the end of each session and a bi-annual progress report.

Early Intervention

Beginning October 1, 2021 MCS added Early Intervention Specialty Service (ABA). This program is for children ages infant-3 years old who have a diagnosis of Autism. MCS works diligently with other Early Intervention providers and the families to ensure positive outcomes for the child and family.

The core of ABA services provided is skill building and guiding families to develop effective strategies in supporting their loved one. Each family will be supported by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who will do an assessment and develop a treatment/behavior plan and Direct Support professionals who will implement the plan.

Eligibility for services 

  • Children under age 21 diagnosed with Autism with MassHealth or Commercial Insurance. We accept most insurances.
  • Adults over 21 with private insurance. Please contact the Holyoke office for more information on what insurances we accept.
  • Early Intervention children under 3 years old with a diagnosis of Autism.