The Association for Behavioral Analysis International is committed to promoting the rights of all individuals to receive effective behavioral treatment. And it has issued a Statement on the Right to Effective Behavioral Treatment. The statement is as follows:

A therapeutic and social environment conducive to effective behavioral treatment is a right of every individual. This right includes access to freedom from coercion, a safe and healthy physical setting, therapeutic social relationships, and opportunities for stimulation and engagement in developmentally appropriate activities. When these basic needs are not met, individuals risk further deterioration, increased maladaptive behavior, or both. The delivery of effective behavioral treatment requires the above basic conditions, as well as a skilled and motivated treatment team.

Service whose primary goal is the delivery of effective behavioral treatment and personal fulfillment should be the keystone of any system of care for people with developmental disabilities. In other words, all other services and supports should aim to assist the individual in receiving effective behavioral treatment to achieve personal fulfillment.

In cases where an individual’s right to effective behavioral treatment is denied or abridged, all reasonable steps should be taken to secure that right through Peer Review Committees, imposing professional standards, or other available means, including human rights commissions which will determine if the right has been denied and what steps to be taken to rectify the situation.

Treatment should be conducted by competent and well-trained personnel. This includes specialists in behavior analysis who have met the professional criteria for certification set forth by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Furthermore, treatment team members must be skilled in using the behavioral methodology and share a common treatment philosophy. In cases of complex treatment issues, the involvement of a doctoral-level board-certified behavior analyst should be considered.

Treatment should be individualized and focus on building adaptive skills. The primary focus of behavioral treatment should be to increase the individual’s repertoire of developmentally appropriate and adaptive behavior. For the doctor To achieve this goal, treatment must be individualized and consider the individual’s unique strengths, needs, preferences, values, and available resources. Maladaptive behaviors that present barriers to the individual’s development and participation in society should be reduced or eliminated through effective behavioral treatment.

A board-certified behavior analyst should conduct a pretreatment assessment. A board-certified behavior analyst should conduct a comprehensive pretreatment assessment to determine the appropriateness of behavioral treatment and develop an effective treatment plan. The assessment should include but is not limited to a functional analysis of the individual’s problem behavior (s) and an analysis of the contextual factors that contribute to the maintenance of the problem behavior (s). Assessment can be conducted through direct observation, interviews, and review of records.

Treatment should be conducted based on scientifically validated treatment procedures. Only those treatment procedures that have been shown, through scientific research, to be effective in changing behavior should be used. The application of dangerous or unscientific treatments violates the individual’s right to effective behavioral treatment.

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