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Proposed Questions for Ethics in Schools Q&A with Dr. Jon Bailey 3/24/2018

2 Proposed Questions for Ethics in Schools Q&A with Dr. Jon Bailey 3/24/2018
Expert Name: Karen Chung
Expert Title: CEO & Founder
Company Name: Special Learning, Inc.
Company URL: www.special-learning.com
Short Bio: Karen is the CEO and Founder of Special Learning. She graduated from Kellog and was introduced to the ABA field and ancillary therapies over a decade ago.

It became her life’s passion to share knowledge of these evidence-based therapies to the global community who either work or have a child/adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or a related disorder. She has become one of the thought-leaders in this space and is achieving her goal through the works of Special Learning, Inc.

Proposed Questions for Ethics in Schools Q&A with Dr. Jon Bailey 3/24/2018


  • Once we are a service provider on the case if any new behaviors come up, do we need another permission to assess every single behavior, or can we just do brief FBAs and suggest interventions? My directors do not want us going through permission to assess IEP process every time a behavior comes up once we are a provider. They feel this is overwhelming for these families and unnecessary.


  • In the school setting, is a 2-person escort considered a restraint? The school uses TCI crisis procedures out of Cornell University.
  • Can a student with an IEP that is verbally disruptive be removed from a general education classroom setting and taken to the resource room if he is not a harm to self or others and if a FBA / PBIP is in place? (Legally speaking)


  • What are your suggestions if an outside BCBA, after mediation, is requested to do an independent FBA / PBIP where the kindergartner with autism has 14 transitions including gen Ed setting, learning support and self contained – all with a 1:1 aide.
  • What if the FBA / PBIP is being followed inconsistency? How do you document for mediation during the BCBA’s independent evaluation?
  • What do you consider criteria to be for placement in a general education setting from the FBA / PBIP perspective?
  • Many schools are providing support for PBIS level 1 and 2 on sites for teachers. With these supports there aren’t FBAs being done or permission to assess until they do the PTR process at a level three. Are we holding up our ethics if we are simply guiding or helping teachers with PBIS 1 and 2 levels? Basic positive preventative antecedent classroom intervention strategies.
  • FBAs are clearly time consuming, I do them each time I need a behavior reduction plan.  The surrounding districts seem to be doing just observations and ABC data in-lieu of a brief FA or traditional FA.  In a public-school setting, the expectation is still a FA (brief or traditional) prior to a behavior reduction program, correct?  Or is the new expectation observation and some data?  The other districts do have BCBAs who are not doing full FAs.
  • I am a special education teacher with a BCBA but I am not hired as a BCBA. I see my admin and fellow teachers struggle most days to understand the importance of function of behavior when dealing with behavior interventions.  What are my ethical duties in order to ensure the safety and ethical procedures for behavior intervention at my school site and students on our campus?

Team Collaboration

  • What guidance would you give to behavior analysts in schools who works with teams that embraces a collaborative team problem solving process yet may run into conflicts because of differences between the BACB ethics code and those that govern other professionals? 
  • In many other disciplines – O/T, P/T, Speech, psych, etc. – assessments are only written by those who are trained in their area of expertise. However, there are no restrictions on who can write FBAs. Does the BACB have any plans to address this issue?

Dual Relationship / Conflict of Interest

  • If a parent has expressed their aversion to ABA but their child is non-verbal and severely impacted, do you meet with the parent before providing any suggestions or just focus on environmental suggestions for the classroom?
  • As a teacher I have instructional assistants.  Some of my instructional assistants are RBT’s and work after school in home sessions.  One of my aides works with one of my students in his home as well as at school.  What are the ethical guidelines in terms of avoiding dual relationship?

Caseload / Supervision

  • How much can we expect / ask the teachers to implement?
  • When working in a school where your role as a BCBA is consultative, how do you determine how to divide your time amongst all the students whom all need behavior intervention plans? 
  • What is an appropriate caseload for BCBAs in public schools?
  • If I believe that my current caseload is hampering my ability to be effective, what do I do to effectively address that situation?

Code Compliance

  • How do you recommend BCBAs function in the school setting so that reciprocity, voice and regard for the certifications and expertise of others is maintained but the integrity and ethics of BCBA certification is not compromised?
  • What would be your response to a certified behavior analyst who is employed by a school system that holds expectations for roles and responsibilities, some of which are within BCBA licensure and some that are not?  More specifically, what guidance would you give to BCBAs who are sometimes in a behavior analyst role, and other times assume other roles or responsibilities?
  • Many BCBAs are dual-certified/licensed as BCBA/SLP, BCBA/Psychologist, etc. If their primary role is as an SLP or Psychologist (i.e. secondary role is BCBA), how do they ensure they stay in compliance with both ethics codes? i.e. Should the first priority be on being in compliance with the code that governs their primary role?


  • Raw data: I have heard that there are districts where it is suggested that raw data be destroyed if it’s been graphed or reported on since the data is transcribed and a permanent record in graphed and report format… thoughts 
  • What to you perceive to be the most obvious ethics dilemma for BCBAs in school settings, and what recommendations can you offer to avoid that scenario?

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Being an RBT for me was extremely fun because where were you going to find a place where you can be completely silly without having to worry what people thought about you? This was the only job that made me feel like I could make a dramatic difference while being myself.

I also liked to be surrounded by people that had the same goals of wanting to help kids and the teamwork made the job much easier and more enjoyable.

Change and progress was the ultimate goal for our kiddos. The early intervention program was seriously only a miracle because I saw changes in the kiddos that from day one, you wouldn’t even recognize who they were.

Changes from being able to utter 3-4 words where they can only make a syllable from when they started, the behavior decreases in which kiddo that used to engage in 30-40 0 self-harm to only half, learning how to wait during games, table work where they use to swipe and drop to the floor if they had to.

My favorite was when the parents would tell us what amazing progress they were making at home. I used to tear up and felt for these parents so much because it was already difficult for them and now, they can trust and rely on ABA and the therapists knowing their goal was ours.

By Emma Rogers, BA, RBT

Mother Child
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