If you are a parent of a child with autism, and are considering engaging a behavior analyst -- for ABA therapy, to help your child gain skills, and/or to mitigate disruptive behaviors -- how do you know what to look for? What does a behavior analyst (sometimes also called behavioral therapist) do? And what should you expect from them?
Special needs activist Noria Zasslow put together this list of shared expectations for engaging a behavior analyst. I have published it with her permission.
Information a Behavior Analyst Should Provide To You
My training and expertise :
- I have been practicing as a behavior analyst for ____ years.
- I am certified by BACB (Behavior Analyst Certification Board).
- My specialty is _____ (working with l children, teens, adults, parent training, etc).
- I will help you with behavior you would like to change.
- I will help you with maintaining a behavior, identify more appropriate replacement behaviors, develop a plan to teach those behaviors.
- I will help you develop a plan to help you acquire a new behavior or improve your skill level.
- I may provide training to others as well.
- I will not work with you in any other capacity except as your behavior therapist or consultant.
- I will provide a Behavior Intervention Plan if applicable.
- I do not make judgments about behavior.
- I suggest ways of adjusting and modifying behaviors to reduce pain and suffering.
- You will be provided information at each step in the process.
- I will explain my assessment and the results of my assessment.
- I will provide a plan for intervention and treatment and ask for your approval.
- I will cooperate fully if at any moment you wish to terminate our contract.
- If I believe that my services has become non-productive, I will inform you of my intent to terminate our contract and provide referral information.
- I will work at your home only if you are present. It is not appropriate for you to leave me alone with your child or to ask me to take your child to places not directly related to my work.
- If I need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, I will give you a 24-hour notification of cancellation. Please do the same.
It is not appropriate for me to accept gifts, meals, or to be involved with your personal activities (family celebrations/birthdays, family outings).
I will request:
- A list of any prescribed/ over-the-counter medications.
- Your concerns/requests.
- Your help to understand behaviors that you wish to address.
- Questions about your family habits and daily routine.
- Your opinion.
- If you are dissatisfied with my services, please let me know. You may report your concerns to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.
I do not disclose anything about our relationship. However the law provides confidentiality limitations in cases where:
- I have your written consent to release information.
- I have reasonable grounds to suspect abuse or neglect of a child, disabled adult, or an elder adult.
- I am ordered by a judge to disclose information.
The current fee for my services is ____