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Parent Training Concerns

Post Series: Ethics Scenario Archive


I am a parent of a teenager receiving ABA services. We have been in the system (in many different capacities) for 13 years. My son has been receiving ABA interventions for about 6 months. I have already noticed positive changes in my son. However, I have concerns regarding the parent training I am receiving. The BCBA is extremely knowledgeable and teaches me through a behavior skills model – this is great because she shows me what to do and really walks me through the stages. As far as programs, I understand what to do and I am able to implement these techniques with my son. I just feel like the parent training is rigid and very much in a silo. I feel like it’s almost robotic at times and we don’t get to discuss the tougher things that surface (i.e. long-term planning, how this has affected the family – especially siblings etc.). How should I approach this with the BCBA? Ethically, is the BCBA just required to teach me the individual programming?


  • Encourage the family to talk to the BCBA about things that they want to cover in parent training


  • Encourage the family to write out an email ahead of time to make sure the content is covered and it fosters accountability on both ends to ensure


  • Missing values-based intervention on the BCBA’s side, while likely not intentional, there’s an ethical obligation under 4.01/4.06/4.07 for implementing behavior analytic principles and meeting the mark of hitting the family’s priorities to increase buy in and build rapport


  • Request more integration of programming with siblings to meet the family’s needs as services impact the whole family unit


  • Encourage family to advocate for themselves during training sessions to speak up if they are unsure/uncomfortable/or feeling off track
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