Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Clinic Notes: Who is Qualified to Do ABA?

Recently a school system nearby had an ABA consultant come in to give a workshop on ABA for a day. The special education aides were asked to attend as well as the cafeteria ladies. The parents of the children with autism were then told that their children would be given several hours of ABA each week.
ABA is riding a wave of popularity with the onset of the autism epidemic. And many people are offering their services to families and schools. This brings up an important question. Who is qualified to do ABA? Under supervision anyone can do ABA. But without supervision a little bit of ABA knowledge can be harmful. I think that it is very clear that only Board Certified Behavior Analyst or Licensed Psychologists should be doing ABA unsupervised. I have seen many children in my clinic who received ABA from unqualified therapists and did not progress. It is accepted that with autism the earlier the interventions the better. Parents cannot afford to waste a year with an unqualified therapist.


mcewen said...

The 'wasted time' reference makes me wince, but you are absolutely right. At the same time, you can have all the qualifications but just not have the chemical connection with a child.

My son had a temporary [substitute?] teacher in his class for 3 weeks. She wasn't spec ed certified and was still in training for mainstream school - she had a true gift but nothing on paper.
Best wishes

Carly said...

I agree wholeheartedly.
I have seen firsthand pseudo "therapist" running ABA treatment on children and the results are horrible.
I advocate for ABA to be regulated. Why are so many unqualified people conducting ABA?