Lesson 1 Ethics of ABA


This lesson contains important information about ethical considerations when working with children and families.

As stated by Cooper, Heron and Heward (2007), ethics refers to behaviors, practices and decisions that address what is the right thing to do, what is worth doing and what it means to be a good behavior analyst. Keeping these questions in mind, people working in the field of ABA should be guided by the basic principal that we are working towards improving a person (and their family)’s overall condition.



oWhile your job will be to play and interact with children, you must always be aware of your professional boundaries.

o Dress comfortably, yet professionally.

o Treat your client(s) and their families and caregivers with respect. Treat your supervisors and coworkers with respect.

o Always be conscious of the family’s race, religion and culture.

o While we always try to use correct ABA vocabulary, it is important to explain procedures and services in terms that the family will understand. The family should know that they can withdraw from and request for a change in services at any time.

o Remember this is a one sided relationship. You are there for the child and the family. Avoid discussing personal matters with the parents. If you need support with personal or professional issues, contact your supervisor.


o HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information. As a BCBA, BCABA, Family Trainer and ABA Tutor you are required to comply with HIPAA regulations. Always keep names confidential. Appropriately dispose of all paperwork with confidential information. Always request supervisor permission and change all names so clients cannot be identified when using information in schoolwork/papers. Insure permission has been acquired before taking picture or video of any clients.

o Avoid discussing clients with anyone other than your supervisor and the family. Even if you don’t mention names, there is no need to discuss programming, problems or any other information about any other program you are working on.

(1.01)+EtchicsABA.doc29.5 KB

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