Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Event Details

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Symposium #473
CE Offered: BACB
Defining and Expanding ABA Services at the State-Level
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
12:00 PM–1:20 PM
202 (TCC)
Area: PRA/CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: William J. Murray (Wisconsin Department of Health Services)
Discussant: Kevin P. Klatt (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire)
CE Instructor: William J. Murray, Ph.D.

Defining who behavior analysts are and the services we offer may seem both obvious as well as unnecessary to most behavior analysts, but within the structure of a statewide system of behavioral supports, doing so is often critical to overcome both the political structure within the state and built in systemic biases. Efforts to differentiate our training and experience from those of self-labeled "behavior specialists" and others who would claim expertise in behavior analysis not only helps protect the integrity of our field and our practices, but allows for greater confidence on the part of our customers, and helps ensure a greater level of consumer protection. This symposium discusses the growth of the behavior analytic community in Wisconsin and collaborative efforts to ensure practitioners have appropriate credentials, and serves as a model for how similar growth might look in other states as behavior analytic services continue to expand, both within autism services as well as beyond.

Keyword(s): consumer protection, service expansion, state licensure

Defining Behavior Analysis in the State of Wisconsin

WILLIAM J. MURRAY (Wisconsin Department of Health Services)

Defining who behavior analysts are and the services we offer may seem unnecessary to most behavior analysts, but within the structure of an entrenched political system that supports consumer choice without specifics as to quality, it is absolutely critical in order to ensure the provision of effective services. Notions related to such things as cost-effectiveness, data-based decision making, treatment fidelity and treatment efficacy are not lost to behavior analysts, and are also issues that policy makers typically care about. However, many of these same policy makers may be either elected officials or closely tied to elected officials, and consequently their motives may not be similar to those of dedicated treatment providers. Developing an understanding of how to walk this political line while remaining committed to quality treatment services is critical and will be the focus of this presentation, with an emphasis on remaining employed in a contentious political climate while also working to ensure consumers receive effective behavior analytic services.


Growing Behavior Analysis Across the State of Wisconsin

KAREN R. HARPER (Association for Behavior Analysis of Illinois, LLC)

As Wisconsin enacted legislation requiring insurance companies to provide funding for autism treatment services, legislation also passed allowing for behavior analysts to apply for licensure through the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing. As a consequence of this licensure, there grew an increased need for legitimate behavior analytic services around the state, not only related to autism services, but also across other populations and areas of need. This presentation addresses efforts by one provider to expand the services offered by her company across Wisconsin, working with the state Department of Health Services and county-level agencies, in order to provide quality services to multiple client populations. Her experience with finding qualified behavior analysts, working with counties to fund her services, and overcoming other procedural "roadblocks" will be described in order to present a model for how other companies might work collaboratively with state-level policy makers to influence funding opportunities for behavior analysts.


Ensuring Consumer Protection for the Recipients of ABA Services in Wisconsin

Tamara S. Kasper (The Center for Autism Treatment, Inc.)

As Wisconsin created a state level license for behavior analysts in 2010, one of the discussions held with the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing involved the development of assurances that the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and the state DRL would work collaboratively to not only create language regarding the violation of ethical practices by licensed behavior analysts, but work in the future to monitor and enforce actions against unethical persons. Clearly one of the most critical pieces of licensure language involves an understanding that licensure involves a process for discipline if ethical violations occur, and it was with this in mind that both the Wisconsin DRL and the BACB drafted language placing at least some of the responsibility for ensuring consumer protection on other behavior analysts as "self reporters." This creates an interesting dilemma for behavior analysts in monitoring the ethical behavior of their colleagues. As the licensure law has been in place for nearly two years, situations are arising that cause licensed behavior analysts to consider how these responsibilities might be enacted in meaningful ways. This presentation will discuss some of these issues and potential methods of addressing them.




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