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Parent ABA Practice Questions in OT & Speech

Post Series: Ethics Scenario Archive


I understand that your organization is the Arizona chapter of the Association for Behavioral Analysis International. I also understand that there are no laws or regulations for ABA in Arizona. However, there are professional and ethical standards from your organization and ABAI, and as a parent of an autistic child, I have some questions that deal with professional and ethical standards. My daughter attends an establishment that offers speech and occupational therapy. I have come to learn that this establishment is utilizing ABA practices (compliance training) on clients. The speech and occupational therapists are using these practices on children, even though they do not identify as ABA therapists or have the training to consider themselves ABA therapists. A couple of questions: What is your stance on using ABA practices by people not fully trained in ABA? Should people using ABA methods (like compliance training) be under the supervision of a BCBA? Are there any professional or ethical standards with regard to informed consent and ABA? I.e. should people using ABA practices inform parents they are using these practices and gain consent from parents before these methods are used? If you have answers to any or all of these questions (from the standpoint of professional or ethical standards), I’d appreciate it.


  • OT and speech are not bound by our compliance code


  • Related service providers working closely with BCBAs may use similar strategies however they are bound by their own codes


  • Not enough information provided to give appropriate recommendation
    • Is there dissatisfaction with the services?
    • Did the provider say they use ABA?
    • What procedures are being used?


  • In no way can we speak on behavior of a non-behavior analytic provider, could provide some codes to answer the questions however needs to be handled very delicately


  • Go to the designated licensing board or supervisor of the provider; recommend ABA services with BCBA if the mom is not satisfied with what the provider is doing and is interested in ABA services
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