ABA in Saskatchewan
Updated: Mar 18, 2021
ABA may seem like a new “buzz word” or treatment here in Saskatchewan, however, the science has been around since the 1970s! It is highly established across the world, but very popular in North America. It is becoming more popular here in Saskatchewan since our profession is slowly building capacity. Like any other type of scientific profession, ABA is continually evolving and adapting with ongoing advances and findings in research.
Many of us use ABA principles without even knowing it! Does, “first eat your peas then you get dessert” ring a bell? Or “first do your homework, then you can watch tv?”. Have you ever packed your gym bag and left it by your shoes to remember it in the morning? Said “thank you” or words of affirmation when someone does something nice for you? Those are all examples of ABA! Many teachers, parents, caregivers and other professionals use ABA techniques in their day-to-day practices.
We often hear “oh I tried ABA, but it does not work”. Which may be true, ABA may not be the best fit for every person. However, ABA often “doesn’t work” based on the following considerations:
Was there and Individualized Behaviour Program written specifically for your child?
Was there an initial assessment that took place? What is the means for ongoing assessment of progress?
For decreasing a particular behaviour, were all risks evaluated to be as minimally intrusive as possible? Was consent given before a Functional Behaviour Assessment (FBA) was conducted to develop a foundation for a function based-intervention
How was the behaviours operationally defined and what type of data collection system was used?
Did the data get analyzed and based on ongoing data collection and program modifications were made to keep the child successful?
How is the practitioner measuring change or progress? Anecdotal reports do not count!!
Did the program developer use evidence-based techniques that have been validated through peer-reviewed research studies?
Was the program developer practicing within their scope of competences or did they seek supervision from another BCBA-D/BCBA/BCaBA who specializes in that area?
Can you find your consultant on the BACB.com website as “BACB Certificant Registry”? If they are not on the website, did you ask if they are currently in school working towards their certification and currently have a supervision oversighting all programs and clinical decisions?
Does your clinician evolve and grow by taking continuing education to keep up with the ongoing changes in the field?
Did your treatment intensity (hours per week) reflect best practices in current research?
Are you the parent, part of the your child’s therapy team with learning how to use these techniques with your child
Does your clinician follow their “Professional and Ethical Compliance Coe for Behavior Analysts” standards set forth by the Behaviour Analytic Certification Board?
All of the above are mandatory components for an ABA program! It is important to do your research and ensure that who you hire is clinically competent in what they are claiming to provide for your family.