Reopening ABA Clinics Safely
In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, U.S. organizations that provide applied behavior analysis (ABA)programs to individuals with autism spectrum disorder have implemented a variety of safety precautions to minimize the spreadof the virus, often shifting center-based services to the home or telehealth. Considered essential workers, ABA providers areexempt from government directives to close, so they have both the freedom and the great responsibility to make their owndecisions about how best to keep their clients safe while continuing to provide medically necessary services. In the coming weeksand months, ABA providers will be faced with the decision about whether to reopen centers. This article does not address thatdecision, except to acknowledge the urgency to reopen, both to help clients and to remain solvent. Political rhetoric andcontradictory public information further complicate this daunting decision. Because ABA providers do not have legal guidanceto shift the burden of such decisions to local and state regulators, the burden is theirs alone. The unprecedented nature of theCOVID-19 pandemic means that no decision is clearly wrong or right, and every decision has consequences. Although ABAproviders do not have their own state guidance, many states have issued guidelines for childcare providers whose operations havecontinued throughout the pandemic. This article analyzes that guidance, identifies common variables potentially relevant to ABAorganizations, highlights clinical considerations and procedural compliance, and provides ABA organizations with the tools tomake the best decision for their clients, in their community, and on their timeline.
Baumes, A., Čolić, M., & Araiba, S. (2020). Comparison of Telehealth-Related Ethics and Guidelines and a Checklist for Ethical Decision Making in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Behavior analysis in practice, 1–12. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40617-020-00475-2