Overview of ABA Home Programs & Foundations of Applied Behaviour Analysis

This is part of the parent training course and covers the basics for people considering ABA interventions with some useful resources and information on the code of ethics: http://www.simplybehaviour.com/parent-training/

Understand the fundamental concepts and principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)
Identify the key components of ABA and its relevance in various contexts
Apply basic ABA principles to real-life scenarios

Before we get on to the concepts and principles of applied behaviour analysis it seems pertinent to try and give you some crucial information that can help you to “abolish” potential problems that might occur further down the line. Behaviour is all about setting the environment up for success so we felt that it would be crucial to help set you up with some crucial information regarding some of the most important relationships that will help parents/tutors and consultants to succeed. We will get more onto ethics later but here is an overview of some ethical considerations for parents and tutors. 

Some Background Rules & Practices to help parents (and tutors)

The BACB (Behavior Analyst Certification Board) provides a code of conduct that outlines ethical guidelines for behavior analysts, including tutors and parents involved in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) practices. Let’s explore some examples of potential ethics violations and discuss how to overcome them while adhering to the code of conduct.

Example 1: 

Dual Relationship Violation Situation: A tutor is also a close family friend of the child receiving ABA services, blurring the boundaries between personal and professional relationships. 

Ethical Violation: Engaging in a dual relationship can compromise objectivity and create conflicts of interest. 

Solution: The tutor should establish clear boundaries and maintain a professional relationship with the family. They should communicate openly about the potential conflicts of interest and discuss the importance of maintaining objectivity. Consider involving an independent supervisor or another qualified professional to provide oversight and ensure adherence to ethical guidelines.

Example 2: 

Confidentiality Breach Situation: A tutor shares sensitive information about their child’s behavior challenges with other parents during a support group session. 

Ethical Violation: Disclosing confidential information without consent violates the privacy and confidentiality rights of the child and their family. 

Solution: Parents should be educated on the importance of maintaining confidentiality. Encourage them to seek support and guidance from professionals, where appropriate, while respecting the privacy of their child and others involved. Facilitate discussions on maintaining confidentiality within support groups and establish ground rules regarding information sharing.

Example 3: 

Inadequate Competence Situation: A tutor attempts to address a complex behavioral issue beyond their level of expertise and training. 

Ethical Violation: Providing services beyond one’s level of competence can result in ineffective or potentially harmful interventions. 

Solution: Tutors should recognize the boundaries of their competence and seek supervision or consultation from experienced professionals when encountering complex or unfamiliar cases. They should continuously pursue professional development opportunities, such as attending workshops, conferences, or additional training programs, to enhance their knowledge and skills.

Example 4: 

Lack of Informed Consent Situation: A tutor implements an intervention without obtaining proper informed consent from the child’s parent or legal guardian. 

Ethical Violation: Conducting interventions without obtaining informed consent violates the individual’s right to be fully informed and involved in decision-making. 

Solution: Tutors should obtain informed consent from parents or legal guardians before initiating any interventions. This includes providing a clear explanation of the proposed treatment, potential risks and benefits, alternatives, and answering any questions or concerns. Written consent should be obtained to document the agreement.

These examples illustrate potential ethics violations and appropriate solutions aligned with the BACB code of conduct. It is essential for tutors and parents to familiarize themselves with the specific guidelines outlined in the code and seek guidance from supervisors, mentors, or professional organizations when encountering ethical dilemmas. Open communication, ongoing education, and a commitment to ethical practice are crucial for maintaining the integrity of ABA services and ensuring the best interests of the individuals involved.

BACB CODE OF CONDUCT

Notes for Parents & Tutors

We understand that finding good tutors who can provide the necessary support for your child is challenging. It’s crucial for us to maintain fairness, honesty, and professionalism in our working relationships to ensure the best outcomes for your child’s development. In this regard, we would like to emphasize the importance of certain practices and expectations.

  1. Open Communication and Collaboration: To provide the highest quality of support, it’s essential for tutors and consultants to work together as a team. This collaboration allows for the exchange of valuable insights and ensures consistency in the implementation of programs. Regular communication between tutors and consultants helps in addressing challenges, sharing progress, and making adjustments as needed.
  2. Training and Professional Development: Continuous training and professional development are vital for tutors to enhance their skills and stay updated with the latest research and best practices. We value ongoing learning and encourage tutors to attend workshops and training sessions. These opportunities enable them to acquire new strategies, refine their techniques, and further their expertise in supporting your child’s needs.
  3. Overlaps with Consultants or Senior Tutors: In some cases, it may be beneficial for tutors to have overlapping sessions with consultants or senior tutors. This arrangement allows for direct observation, guidance, and feedback to ensure the highest quality of service. Overlaps facilitate the transfer of knowledge and expertise, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the intervention.

N.B. Programs should have monthly (at least) workshops from the consultant and this is ideally face-to-face. Obviously, during school holidays etc this can vary a little. 

Failure to adhere to these expectations may have consequences, which can include:

  1. Impact on Program Consistency: Lack of collaboration and adherence to established practices can lead to inconsistencies in program implementation. This may hinder your child’s progress and compromise the effectiveness of the intervention.
  2. Reduced Quality of Support: Without regular training and development opportunities, tutors may not have access to the latest techniques and strategies. This can limit their ability to provide the most effective support for your child’s unique needs.
  3. Missed Opportunities for Improvement: By neglecting overlaps with consultants or senior tutors, valuable opportunities for observation, feedback, and professional growth may be missed. These interactions play a crucial role in refining tutoring skills and ensuring the highest quality of support.

We want to emphasize that our goal is to provide the best possible support for your child’s development. By maintaining open communication, collaboration, and a commitment to ongoing training and development, we can work together to create an environment that promotes your child’s growth and maximizes their potential.

Some Suggested (Editable) Contracts/Agreements for Tutors/Consultants & Parents

Behaviour Support Plan Agreement

Consultancy Agreement Contract

Parent/Tutor Agreement

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