How to fight for special needs insurance coverage

The Law Office of Jodi F. Bouer, LLC  recently won two more very significant appeals of the denial of ABA therapy under self-funded insurance plans.  In the first case, the insurer had a very clear exclusion barring coverage for ABA therapy.  The exclusion was stated in a self-funded plan covering an New York-based employer read more

Helping a family deal with litigation stress

There is a child and family we served recently. The child was born with some significant challenges. The mom and dad were tortured by the nagging question of what more they could do. They did all that they could think of, and then some. Verbal Behavior Institute (VBI) was called in by the family, through friends – as we have a solid reputation for quality (even our detractors admit we do what we do well. They just wish we would do it elsewhere so there was no standard for comparison.). After a couple of weeks, the family informed us they wanted to retain a lawyer to assist them in suing their district to obtain truly individualized services for their son. We did not comment on their decision. We do not comment on what parents want to do; other than to speak about what we, as educators can do to help the child. We agreed we would write a course of treatment and education for their purposes, consistent with the work we were and planned to do, irrespective of the planned litigation.

After more than a few discussions with the family over the course of months it became readily apparent to me as the BCBA and administrator on the case, the stress of litigation was going to be added stress on this family who already had much on their plate. After internal discussions at VBI among staff, we made a decision to try to help the family and their district to resolve this matter; without the added stress court, depositions, discovery and all of the nuances that suck the time and energy out of the people. [Read more…]


The past 12 months were exciting; to say the least. In two cases, Verbal Behavior Institute and its principal, were specifically referenced in settlements and adjudication, as the “solution” to very complex legal cases that were exhausting the time and energy of both families and districts.

In one case, a prominent attorney, who’s firm often represents the advocacy organization Autism Speaks, presented the program of instruction we developed (through our affiliate Developmental Delay Rehabilitation Services, Inc. and Lisa Delaney BCBA) and the court actually wrote in their opinion that the program was not only demonstrated as effective – but noted us to be providing an outstanding service, at well below the market rates for programs of similar quality and services. (the local news picked up on same and added that to their story – copy of article can be reviewed by checking
In a separate, and similar determination – the Superintendent of a district in southern central NJ, negotiated a favorable settlement for all parties, after scrutinizing the case and quality of education via external, independent evaluator’s opinions. In that case, the decision was to spare the district and the family, the expense and stress of lengthy litigation – and rather to agree to continue to provide the child in question with the services that were (remain) in place.

For more than eight years, Verbal Behavior Institute and its key staff (Vivian Attanasio, BCaBA, Whitney Pubylski, BCaBA, Kathy Huber, Colleen Aherns, BCBA, and Terry Blackwell, BCBA) developed a solid reputation for assisting those parties interested in the child, and their education – in coming to agreement on services that are both effective and efficient. Our focus is simple; but not easy. If “best practices” are developed – and integrated in a meaningful and measurable way – to generalize into the child’s home community, then everyone wins without the cost of litigation. Call us at (732) 254-0300, and we will be pleased to provide references, both professional and personal on request.

We offer training and workshops for parents, teachers, therapists and others throughout New Jersey, New York City and the Hudson Valley area. Many of our courses are free.