Behavior-Analytic Assessment Discussion Paper
(a) Behavior analysts conduct current assessments prior to making recommendations or developing behavior-change programs. The type of assessment used is determined by client’s needs and consent, environmental parameters, and other contextual variables. When behavior analysts are developing a behavior-reduction program, they must first conduct a functional assessment.
(b) Behavior analysts have an obligation to collect and graphically display data, using behavior-analytic conventions, in a manner that allows for decisions and recommendations for behavior-change program development.
3.02 Medical Consultation.
Behavior analysts recommend seeking a medical consultation if there is any reasonable possibility that a referred behavior is influenced by medical or biological variables.
3.03 Behavior-Analytic Assessment Consent.
(a) Prior to conducting an assessment, behavior analysts must explain to the client the procedure(s) to be used, who will participate, and how the resulting information will be used.
(b) Behavior analysts must obtain the client’s written approval of the assessment procedures before implementing them.
3.04 Explaining Assessment Results.
Behavior analysts explain assessment results using language and graphic displays of data that are reasonably understandable to the client.
3.05 Consent-Client Records.
Behavior analysts obtain the written consent of the client before obtaining or disclosing client records from or to other sources, for assessment purposes.
4.0 Behavior Analysts and the Behavior-Change Program. Behavior analysts are responsible for all aspects of the behavior-change program from conceptualization to implementation and ultimately to discontinuation.
4.01 Conceptual Consistency.
Behavior analysts design behavior-change programs that are conceptually consistent with behavior- analytic principles.
4.02 Involving Clients in Planning and Consent.
Behavior analysts involve the client in the planning of and consent for behavior-change programs.
4.03 Individualized Behavior-Change Programs.
(a) Behavior analysts must tailor behavior-change programs to the unique behaviors, environmental variables, assessment results, and goals of each client.
(b) Behavior analysts do not plagiarize other professionals’ behavior-change programs.
4.04 Approving Behavior-Change Programs.
Behavior analysts must obtain the client’s written approval of the behavior-change program before implementation or making significant modifications (e.g., change in goals, use of new procedures).
4.05 Describing Behavior-Change Program Objectives.
Behavior analysts describe, in writing, the objectives of the behavior-change program to the client before attempting to implement the program. To the extent possible, a risk-benefit analysis should be conducted on the procedures to be implemented to reach the objective. The description of program objectives and the means by which they will be accomplished is an ongoing process throughout the duration of the client-practitioner relationship.
4.06 Describing Conditions for Behavior-Change Program Success.
Behavior analysts describe to the client the environmental conditions that are necessary for the behavior-change program to be effective.
4.07 Environmental Conditions that Interfere with Implementation.
(a) If environmental conditions prevent implementation of a behavior-change program, behavior analysts recommend that other professional assistance (e.g., assessment, consultation or therapeutic intervention by other professionals) be sought.
(b) If environmental conditions hinder implementation of the behavior-change program, behavior analysts seek to eliminate the environmental constraints, or identify in writing the obstacles to doing so.
4.08 Considerations Regarding Punishment Procedures.
(a) Behavior analysts recommend reinforcement rather than punishment whenever possible. (b) If punishment procedures are necessary, behavior analysts always include reinforcement procedures
for alternative behavior in the behavior-change program. (c) Before implementing punishment-based procedures, behavior analysts ensure that appropriate
steps have been taken to implement reinforcement-based procedures unless the severity or dangerousness of the behavior necessitates immediate use of aversive procedures.
(d) Behavior analysts ensure that aversive procedures are accompanied by an increased level of training, supervision, and oversight. Behavior analysts must evaluate the effectiveness of aversive procedures in a timely manner and modify the behavior-change program if it is ineffective. Behavior analysts always include a plan to discontinue the use of aversive procedures when no longer needed.
4.09 Least Restrictive Procedures.
Behavior analysts review and appraise the restrictiveness of procedures and always recommend the least restrictive procedures likely to be effective.
4.10 Avoiding Harmful Reinforcers. Behavior analysts minimize the use of items as potential reinforcers that may be harmful to the health
and development of the client, or that may require excessive motivating operations to be effective