A new law goes in to effect July 1, 2012. Parents, teachers, and behavior analysts should all be aware that this law could impact them. The entire text is provided below.
Service of Applied Behavior Analysis
In summary, this statute only applies to a child with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) who has a service of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) provided as part of the IEP.
Supervision of ABA Services
The ABA services should be supervised by a person who is either licensed by the Department of Health or Certified by the Department of Education as long as those services are within the scope of practice for the professional.
The ABA services may also be supervised by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) as long as the BCaBA is supervised by the BCBA.
Implementer of ABA Services
A teacher or paraprofessional may implement the IEP and thus may implement the ABA service as long as he/she is supervised by an appropriate person. It is important to note that the supervisor of ABA services would be responsible for ensuring that the teacher and/or paraprofessional are appropriately trained to implement the ABA services.
Shortage of Supervisors
If the Commissioner of Education determines that there are insufficient personnel to provide supervision of ABA, the Commissioner may authorize supervision by individuals who have a bachelor’s degree in a related field who have
- completed nine credit hours of coursework from a course sequence approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board OR
- completed the coursework that meets the eligibility requirement to sit for the board certified behavior analyst examination
and are supervised by a board certified behavior analyst.
Scope of Practice
Scope of practice is defined for each professional by their licensing or certification board. The individual would need to be able to demonstrate that he/she has had sufficient training in coursework and/or experience. Wikipedia defines the scope of practice as:
Scope of practice can be easily identified by three categories.If requirements for practicing a skill or profession satisfy all three requirements then it is within that persons scope of practice:
- Education and training (Has the person been educated academically or on-the-job and have documentation proving education to do the item in question?)
- Governing body (Does your state, district, province or federal government that oversees the skill or profession allow (or not explicitly disallow) the item in question?
- Institution (Does the institution allow a person or their profession to do the item in question?)
- School districts have the responsibility of ensuring that they have appropriate personnel to supervise the ABA services provided to students with IEPs in their district.
- Professionals who are supervising ABA services have the responsibility of ensuring that they are appropriately trained to provide supervision of ABA therapy
- Parents should be aware of the qualifications for supervision and they should make sure their child is being supervised by an appropriately trained person.
- BCBAs and BCaBAs need to make sure that they have appropriate time in their schedule to supervise the students and other professionals on their caseload.
Full Text of the Statute
Chapter 164: Educational Opportunities Section 10-76ii, Provision of Applied Behavior Analysis Services
(a) On and after July 1, 2012, a local or regional board of education that is responsible for providing special education and related services to a child, pursuant to section 10-76a, shall provide applied behavior analysis services to any such child with autism spectrum disorder if the individualized education plan or plan pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires such services. (1) Such services shall be provided by a person who is, subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, (A) licensed by the Department of Public Health or certified by the Department of Education and such services are within the scope of practice of such license or certificate, or (B) certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board as a behavior analyst or assistant behavior analyst, provided such assistant behavior analyst is working under the supervision of a certified behavior analyst. (2) A teacher or paraprofessional may implement the individualized education plan or plan pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 providing for such applied behavior analysis services, provided such teacher or paraprofessional is under the supervision of a person described in subdivision (1) of this subsection. For purposes of this section, “applied behavior analysis” means the design, implementation and evaluation of environmental modifications, using behavioral stimuli and consequences, including the use of direct observation, measurement and functional analysis of the relationship between the environment and behavior, to produce socially significant improvement in human behavior.
(b) If the Commissioner of Education determines that there are insufficient certified or licensed personnel available to provide applied behavior analysis services in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner may authorize the provision of such services by persons who: (1) Hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field; (2) have completed (A) a minimum of nine credit hours of coursework from a course sequence approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, or (B) coursework that meets the eligibility requirement to sit for the board certified behavior analyst examination; and (3) are supervised by a board certified behavior analyst.