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Where does Oregon stand with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

Oregon currently does not have the competent, let alone certified, personnel to carry out appropriate ABA programs that are well supervised with qualified and trained therapists. They have bought into eclecticism via Janice Janzen, a long time Oregon autism educator. Their reasoning? We can't offer only one solution because each child is different. However, by only offering an Eclectic solution, they have chosen a single methodology on behalf of our children and families.

Eclecticism is, in itself, a methodology.

Ever hear people say that one methodology doesn't work for ALL children? Somehow, the answer is to have NO methodology. This is known as an eclectic program. A little of this and a little of that. Take the best of various things. The tool-belt method. Sounds good, doesn't it?


You cannot do research on programs that are vastly different from one child to another. So what ends up happening is that these ineffective, sometimes harmful programs are continually used on hundreds of children, year after year, decade after decade.

Nothing like hiding under "one program doesn't fit all kids" and "we don't need no stinkin' research."

So why doesn't Oregon use Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

ABA is weak in Oregon for several reasons:

1. Janice Janzen, a retired Oregon autism educator, wrote the book on autism treatment for Oregon: eclectic.

2. Oregon has no ABA college programs unless you go to Pacific University, a private school, and get a master's in counseling

3. Oregon has no Katie Beckett Medicaid waiver to pay for ABA services

4. There is no licensure in ABA - it fall under the APA - field of psychology and they are generally jerks about ABA.

5. The education system is a "dog in a manger." They will not admit their lack of expertise in treating autism and they will not hire consultants (at least lots of competent people). There are some ABA folks consulting but there are only about 2 or 3 for the state that I know of.

6. That said, I am afraid Oregon teachers and special educators are not trained in the principles of behavior analysis. U of O does Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) but that is a school wide behavior system not an individual child one.

7. At this time, there is no insurance that pays for ABA, maybe Home Depot
(limited) but that is all that I know of. Autism and ABA is *specifically* excluded from many insurance programs, especially for state workers.

8. ABA parents have been known to stab each other in the back in the past.
I won't name names.

9. Oregon is coming around and saying they do ABA. It is watered down with an eclectic program that includes sensory integration and Structured Teaching - both of which can actually *conflict* with behavioral principles.


Actually there is a certification board for applied behavior analysis. Persons with Masters degrees or Bachelors degrees can get a BCBA or a BCABA, respectively - Board Certified Behavior Analyst Certification - from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. I have a PhD in Special Education and will have my BCBA certification by April. I am taking the final test in March. I can be contacted via email if any parents or families have any more questions.

There is a difference between licensure and certification. Licensure has more pull with insurance companies. Many states will not reimburse or bill for certified people.

You have to have a Master's to get certified BCBA. Only a BS is required for BCABA. I know this because I have been certified BCABA for a few years now.