ABA Finding Its Heart
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented practitioners of applied behavior analysis (ABA) with new and uncharted challenges. Upholding ethical responsibilities while navigating an international public health crisis has opened areas of uncertainty that have no precedent. Although there is general guidance on how to respond ethically from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) in their publication specific to the COVID-19 crisis (BACB, 2020, March 29, Ethics Guidance for ABA Providers During COVID-19 Pandemic, retrieved from https://www.bacb.com/ethics-guidance-for-aba-providers-during-covid-19- pandemic-2/), there remains a huge responsibility on the individual practitioner to make potentially life-changing decisions. In that regard, practitioners are urged to ensure that they rely on socially significant and valid decision-making processes. The goal of this article is to provide an exercise in accounting for stakeholder feedback and connecting with patients and families regarding their input on the acceptability of treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. The exercise is in the form of a structured parent interview to help practitioners account for the setting variables and social validity of treatment during a crisis. It is our ethical responsibility to remember this critical dimension of our science and practice.
Nicolson, A. C., Lazo-Pearson, J. F., & Shandy, J. (2020). ABA Finding Its Heart During a Pandemic: An Exploration in Social Validity. Behavior analysis in practice, 13(4), 1–10. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40617-020-00517-9