Board Certified Behavior Analyst Fraud

Connecticut lawmakers and autism advocates have recently proposed a new bill to lawfully punish individuals who pose as board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) in order to provide services to children with autism. Senate Bill 799 would make BCBA impersonation a criminal offence in Connecticut punishable by up to 5 years in prison with a fine of up to $500 per offense; in which case, each client contract would be regarded as a separate offense.

The development of this bill was motivated by the case of Stacy Lore, a woman in Connecticut convicted last year of misrepresenting herself as a BCBA. Lore had reportedly received over $400,000 from school districts and families of children with autism for her services.

Given the variability in quality and effectiveness of applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment programs, it is of utmost importance that caregivers of children with autism use discretion when choosing an ABA provider. It is essential to do your research. In addition to evaluating various components of an ABA program (e.g., curriculum, supervision, ABA teaching procedures, parent involvement, etc.), caregivers should also verify the service provider’s reported credentials.

Fortunately, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) provides a valuable resource to verify BCBA certifications. Anyone can easily confirm a BCBA certification online by visiting the BACB website and clicking on Find a Certificant. There you can run searches for BCBAs according to last name, zip code, city, state, or international country.

With such a helpful resource readily available online, I find it shocking that someone like Stacy Lore could deceive so many families. Given the extensive research indicating the significance of early intervention in ABA treatment outcomes, it is crucial to provide your child with the highest quality services as early as possible. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of doing your research and selecting an ABA provider who will give your child the best opportunity to reach his or her maximum potential.

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