The Colorado Association for Behavior Analysis (COABA) is a nonprofit professional membership association devoted to serving the needs of behavior analysts in the state of Colorado and disseminating information about behavior analysis to the public.Donate to COABA
Attention Supporters of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)! [posted 7/31/20]
The Colorado Department of Professional Regulations (DORA) is reviewing an application by the Colorado Association for Behavior Analysis (COABA) to provide an opinion on the need for heightened regulatory oversight of Applied Behavior Analysis (possibly through licensure), especially with regard to practices of noncertified and/or inadequately trained persons. As you are likely aware, in Colorado anyone may claim to be a competent provider of ABA services. There are no protections provided to the families against such claims as there are no protections afforded to the use of the terms ABA, behavior modification, behavior specialist, autism specialist, behavioral interventionist, and even behavior analyst. It may come as a surprise but even the acronym BCBA may be used without criminal penalties; literally the only recourse provided in Colorado under this situation is notification to the BACB, who then would likely issue a cease-and-desist order under threat of civil penalties. There are no title or practice protections provided in Colorado for behavior analysts.
This leaves kids, consumers, patients and their families at the mercy of many untrained and worse yet, some unscrupulous characters preying on their vulnerabilities. Many of you have experienced or heard of the harmful outcomes from this situation, be they physical or monetary. Although COABA has not made a decision to pursue governmental regulation in the state, it wants an accurate assessment from DORA in case that decision is made in the future.
This is your opportunity to be heard—DORA wants you to submit stories about harm to vulnerable people as a result of poorly implemented ABA for consideration on the merits of ending these shams and protecting families. Our fellow Coloradans need your protection! Share your stories with Bryan Jameson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-894-7833 ASAP.
Bryan would like to hear from parents, practitioners, and others such as school personnel—who ever has direct knowledge of harm done by fraudulent or unqualified providers. Thank you for your service to Colorado and its citizens.
David Hatfield, PhD, BCBA-D and Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Chair of the Public Policy Committee and Member of the Executive Board of COABA
Behavior analysts and behavior technicians DO NOT need to be registered as psychotherapists to practice behavior analysis in Colorado. Those who are additionally engaging in practices that could be defined as psychotherapy, however, would need to pursue psychotherapy registration. Please see the recent post with this information from the Colorado State Board of Registered Psychotherapists.