Schools Need To Require Certification Of Behavior Analysts

April 14, 2010
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Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today urged the General Assembly to adopt legislation requiring that local school boards verify professional certification before hiring applied behavior analysts for special education of children with autism.

Blumenthal urged the legislation as a New York woman was arraigned in Connecticut state court today for allegedly using false credentials to charge taxpayers and parents tens of thousands of dollars for autism treatment services.

The operator of Spectrum Kids LLC was arrested last month following a joint investigative effort by Norwalk Police, the U.S. Department of Education and Blumenthal’s office.

Blumenthal’s office is continuing to work with Norwalk Police to seek restitution and possibly other remedies on behalf of taxpayers and consumers who were misled into spending thousands of dollars for services based on false credentials.

Meanwhile, Blumenthal said legislative action is necessary to ensure that local school boards — and particularly children — are protected from future harm. Blumenthal said local school boards should not be required to use applied behavior analysts — but those that do should ensure that such analysts are certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).

“Parents deserve a promise of professionalism when their child is at stake — particularly when their child requires specialized care,” Blumenthal said. “This legislation ensures that school boards, taxpayers, parents and – most of all – children are fully protected from deceptive and fraudulent services.

“It became clear during our joint investigation that there is no state certification or license to ensure that individuals or agencies hired for behavior analysis services meet minimum educational and professional criteria. I proposed this legislation in consultation with concerned parents, state and local school officials and behavioral experts.”

Other states that rely on BACB certification include Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota and Montana.

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2 Responses to Schools Need To Require Certification Of Behavior Analysts

  1. Rocket on April 14, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Actually, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) does require school districts to perform Functional Behavior Analysis in certain circumstances. While Mr. Blumenthal is correct in advocating a certain amount of professional expertise be required to conduct these assessments , he is wrong in saying school boards should not be required to use these trained professionals. A principal or other teacher that managed to eek out a minor in psychology does not qualify or have the competence to perform the assessments correctly and without that, money will be flushed down the toilet, disabled children will be short changed and frustrated parents will resort to litigation to ensure that their child’s educational needs are met. Have the job done right to begin with and save a lot of money and grief.

  2. Carly on April 17, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    My blog is an investigation of this very topic. So many ABA companies are exploiting autistic children at the expense of thousands of taxpayer dollars. It is out of control. Even the so-called reputable companies are using “ABA Therapists” who have had nothing but a week of training and are unprofessional and unqualified. Check out your local state-funded ABA providers and find out if they provide autistic children quality therapy. The sad truth is that many do not. Autism has become a means for companies to get rich off taxpayer funds.

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