The initial assessment is a critical element of the intake process. During the assessment, the Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) will meet with parents to discuss desired goals and areas of improvement for their child and assess your child’s skills. The primary function of the initial assessment is to give the BCBA an opportunity to observe your child’s behaviors. This observation serves as an effective approach to implement research-based interventions to help your child achieve their full potential and independence in life. Additionally, the initial assessment allows the BCBA to determine behaviors that need to be increased or decreased as well as determine what reinforcements your child is interested in. The information that is collected and discussed will be used to create an individualized treatment plan for your child. Upon completion, the treatment plan, diagnostic report, referral, and other required forms are submitted to the health insurance plan for authorization. The turnaround time for authorization usually takes one to four weeks after the initial assessment. This timeline can change due to many factors. Some policies may have a shorter timeline with proper documentation and credentialing through the health plan.