Recently, a client planned to attend an upcoming IEP meeting for their child who received school services in a private school and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy from a private provider. The client did not want the ABA provider to attend the IEP meeting. Instead, they asked the ABA provider to submit a report that would be reviewed in the meeting.
The ABA provider informed the client that he was unable to submit a report for a meeting that he could not intend. He cited the BACB Guidelines for Responsible Conduct. The client became very upset and even said “Other BCBAs have done this, why can’t you?”
As a BCBA, we must follow the Guidelines established by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB). As Augustine of Hippo states, “Right is right, even if no one is doing it.”
The BACB Guideline 3.02 specifies what is expected of BCBAs with regards to their assessments. Specifically:
3.03 Explaining Assessment Results.
“Unless the nature of the relationship is clearly explained to the person being assessed in advance and precludes provision of an explanation of results (such as in some organizational consultation, some screenings, and forensic evaluations), behavior analysts ensure that an explanation of the results is provided using language that is reasonably understandable to the person assessed or to another legally authorized person on behalf of the client. Regardless of whether the interpretation is done by the behavior analyst, by assistants, or others, behavior analysts take reasonable steps to ensure that appropriate explanations of results are given.“
If a BCBA cannot attend a meeting where his report is reviewed, how can he ensure that the report is interpreted appropriately as the Guidelines state? The BCBA has several options:
- Have another appropriately trained BCBA go in his place
- Have an appropriately trained BCaBA attend his place
- Offer to call in to explain the results
- Meet separately from the meeting to review the results
Practicing BCBAs have many job responsibilities and obligations. We are often faced with difficult decisions as a result of those responsibilities. It is imperative that we know our Guidelines for Responsible Conduct and that we follow them to the best of our ability.