News

Here you can find news stories we have featured on our home page, with the most recent appearing first.

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More councils employing behaviour experts 

Both Medway Council and Essex Council have positions advertised for those with ABA/PBS qualifications. Interestingly, Medway is expanding to support those with emotional or behavioural distress in addition to the services already in place for those with learning disabilities or autism. The Essex post is to join the social care team supporting those with a complex learning disability or autism. The posts are advertised on the respective council websites and the closing dates are Feb/March 2022.

All 50 states in the US now covering ABA on Medicaid

In 2014 a federal directive stated that Medicaid (a US program that helps with healthcare costs for those on limited income and resources) must cover necessary care for those with autism up to the age of 21, which included ABA. However, some states dragged their heels, and it is only now in February 2022 that Texas became the last state to comply. While ABA is accessible through private insurance, this last turnaround means that more children and young people across the country should be able to benefit from this method. Let's hope the UK takes note! 

Combatting bias and misrepresentation of ABA 

BCBA-Ds Professor Mickey Keenan and Karola Dillenburger (also a Clinical Psychologist) have issued a very insightful response to the BPS guidelines (referenced recently in our News) drawing attention to 'omission bias' in relation to ABA and how this can have serious consequences.

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Best Practice Guidelines from the British Psychological Society

A 52-page document Working with Autism: Best Practice Guidelines for Psychologists published in August calls for the "use of principles based on PBS to help individuals acquire skills to improve quality of life." This is in regard to working with adults with autism (see page 33). Read more...

New Position Statement supports PBS as an alternative to meds

A new paper from the UK Royal College of Psychiatrists has been published in August 2021 regarding “Stopping the overmedication of people with intellectual disability, autism or both (STOMP) and supporting treatment and appropriate medication in paediatrics (STAMP)” and makes specific reference to ABA and PBS. Read more...

NICE slightly softening towards ABA - autism best practice can accommodate ABA

When we started this campaign in 2013, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) had a blanket statement about not recommending ABA due to lack of enough of their preferred Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) evidence. This has now softened and in fact NICE says in black and white (in response to our recent lobbying) that their recommended best practice for autism - both teaching skills and managing challenging behaviour - might include or “accommodate” the use of ABA. This is good news! It stops short of what we’d prefer - that they actually name as ABA the “psychosocial interventions for autism” that sound pretty much exactly like ABA, but are left vague - no help to consumers. However “accommodate” is better than a “no”. Read more...

ABA and the elderly

One of the less well-known areas of ABA is behavioural gerontology - the application of ABA to solving the problems of older adults. Behavioural gerontologists may work with older adults who are in distress, who are struggling with apathy and disengagement, and to prevent skill loss that is often associated with cognitive decline and dementia progression. Sadly, of the over 48,000 BCBAs across the globe, fewer than 0.2% report that they work with adults over 65. In the UK, we have a small but growing number of behaviour analysts who are interested in behavioural gerontology, and with an ageing population, there’s no time like the present for the benefits of ABA to be expanded into older adult services. 

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