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Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis

Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis

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Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis

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  1. Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis Topic #6 ED 553: Assessing Effective Treatments for Children with Autism

  2. What Formal Training Should Behavior Analysts Have? • Accredited to provide training in behavior analysis at doctorate or master’s level www.Abainternational.org • Master’s in behavior analysis • courses must provide instruction in behavior analyst approaches to research and/or in conceptual issues • program must include a thesis, review paper or general examination based on behavior-analytic approaches • Doctorate in behavior analysis • course of study must provide instruction in behavior analytic approaches to research and/or in conceptual issues • Include advanced curriculum topics in a specialized area of nonhuman and or human basic research literature, research methods, and one or more applied areas • Dissertation in required in which questions and methods are based on a behavior-analytic approaches to issues

  3. What Formal Training Should Behavior Analysts Have? • The more severe a behavior problem, the more extensive the training should be • only doctorate level behavior analysts should treat severe behavior problems • Behavior analysts should attend professional conferences & workshops in behavior analysis to stay current in the field

  4. What Experience Should Behavior Analysts Have? • Accredited programs don’t yet guarantee that individuals have the necessary training to teach individuals with developmental disabilities • Supervised experience in teaching individuals with autism for at least 1-2 years (BACB requires 9-18 months) • It is recommended that supervision be provided by a doctoral level behavior analyst

  5. What Professional Organizations should Behavior Analysts Belong To? • Association for Behavior Analysis • www.abainternational.org • NJ Association for Behavior Analysis • www.NJABA.org • COSAC • www.njcosac.org

  6. What Knowledge Should a Behavior Analyst Have?

  7. Summary of Components of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) www.bacb.com • Education • 5-6 courses in BA • Experience • 9-18 months • National Board Written Exam • Discipline • Continuing Education • 36 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) in 3 years • 1 CEU = 50 minutes of instruction of symposia • 1 grad course = 15 hours of continuing education • Code of Ethics

  8. BACB Guidelines for Responsible Conduct for Behavior Analysts • Responsible Conduct of a Behavior Analyst • The Behavior Analyst’s Responsibility to Clients • The Behavior Analyst’s Pre-Intervention Behavior • The Behavior Analyst and the Individual Behavior Change Program • The Behavior Analysts as Teacher and/or Supervisor

  9. BACB Guidelines for Responsible Conduct for Behavior Analysts • The Behavior Analyst and the Workplace • The Behavior Analysts an research Behavior Analysts design and Conduct • The Behavior Analyst’s Ethical Responsibility to the Field of Behavior Analysis • The Behavior Analyst’s Ethical Responsibility to Colleagues • The Behavior Analysts Ethical Responsibility to Society • www.Bacb.org

  10. Concerns about ABA • Behavior Modification • Behavioral Techniques • Applied Behavior Analysis

  11. Applied Behavior Analysis • Learning principles must be applied to change socially important behavior. • Must investigate observable and quantifiable behavior that is objectively defined • clear evidence of a functional relationship between the behavior to be changed and the experimenters’ intervention must exist.

  12. Misunderstandings • Behavioral approaches are too much work and provide too little reinforcement • Behaviorism contradicts the popular developmental view of education and psychology • Behavior analysis is a threat to the prevailing power structures in education and psychology • Positive reinforcement is a practice that often lacks social acceptability and undermines intrinsic reinforcement • Behavior analysis fails to glorify human beings as do other psychologies and philosophies

  13. Ethical Procedures • Community standards • Laws • Prevailing philosophies • Individual freedom • Responsibility of the clients through informed consent • Clients’ attitudes and feelings • Social validity (consumer satisfaction) • Questionnaires, interviews, surveys

  14. Ethical Procedures • Goals, procedures & outcomes must be acceptable to the consumers of education –students, parents and the community

  15. Ethical Procedures • We propose that individuals who are recipients or potential recipients of treatment designed to change their behavior have the right to 1. A therapeutic environment 2. Services whose overriding goal is personal welfare • Treatment by a competent behavior analyst • Programs that teach functional skills • Behavioral assessment and ongoing evaluation • The most effective treatment procedures available Executive Council for the Association for Behavior Analysis

  16. Therapeutic Environment • Safe, humane, responsive to individual needs, enjoyable (choice), and least restrictive • Minimally dignified treatment requires sanitation, cleanliness, comfort, and attempts at respectful communication and consent and age-appropriateness

  17. Services Whose Overriding Goal is Personal Welfare • Appropriate goal setting • Students and parents must voluntarily agree to the goals and be informed of them • Informed consent –based on full understanding of the planned program –includes possible risks • Voluntary consent –may be obtained only if neither threats nor rewards are used to acquire such consent

  18. Treatment by a Competent Behavior Analyst • “A teacher buys a bag of candy & proceeds to hand out “reinforcement” indiscriminately” • –this is potentially harmful! • Principles are easy to understand –implementation, however, is not so simple • Must have academic & ongoing hands-on training, supervision & evaluation • Nationally Board Certified Behavior Analyst • National certification issued by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board www.BACB.com

  19. Programs that Teach Functional Skills • Relative to the individuals needs of a particular student • Each individual is capable of full participation in community life and has a right to such participation • Consider the environment in which a particular individual will live when making decisions about what functional skills to teach • Behaviors that lead to improved learning or social interaction should be taught to all students.

  20. Behavioral Assessment & Ongoing Evaluation • Goals & Obj must be based on careful observation of what the student does under a variety of conditions • Ongoing evaluation is necessary to ensure skill acquisition

  21. The Most Effective Treatment Procedures Available • Proven effectiveness in science means that a particular technique will also change similar behavior in similar students • E.g., chemotherapy & radiation or Ginger • Review literature in professional, peer-reviewed journals –JABA • Still need parental consent and follow school guidelines (human rights review board) for decreasing behavior procedures such as time out

  22. Accountability • to the profession, community, administrators, parents, students & yourself • Publication of goals, procedures, and results so that they may be evaluated by parents, teachers, and administrators • Goals are stated behaviorally • Procedures described clearly • Results are in terms of direct, functional relationships between interventions and resultant behavior change