As of May 1, Tricare added limitations and restrictions to ABA therapy, particularly in schools and community settings.
"To me, they just want people like him to go away," [autism parent Shelly] Roper said. "There's no other alternative for a family like myself and where else would we go? We can't move, we're stationed at this base."
Chase isn't the only one in Cumberland County affected by this change.
"When I heard that they were taking ABA away out of school, I literally felt sick to my stomach. It was a devastating blow because for my daughter to get the education that she deserves and that she's capable of getting it she needs her RBT [registered behavior technician]" said Katrina Powers.
Tricare's changes still allow individuals to receive ABA therapy and see RBTs but in a more limited capacity and not during the entire school day.
A spokesperson for Tricare explained the changes were made after three years of collaboration with industry stakeholders and lessons learned.
"Although this is a new requirement that went into effect May 1, 2021, it was never the intent to reimburse for non-clinical or educational services. School services, where BTs serve as school supports, shadows, or aides are beyond the scope of ABA services covered under the ACD [Autism Care Demonstration]. The ACD is authorized to reimburse for the active delivery of ABA services. Tricare authorized BTs in the school setting are not actively rendering ABA services," a spokesperson wrote in an email.