History and Beliefs of Behaviour Innovations
Behaviour Innovations is a private agency that was founded in 1998 by Dr. Nicole Walton-Allen and Dr. Joel Hundert (both psychologists and Board Certified Behaviour Analysts, Doctoral Level) to provide the highest quality of professional services for persons with developmental disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder. They are affiliated with McMaster University and have recognized expertise in the field. From 1999 to 2004, when Ontario first introduced ABA services for children with ASD, Behaviour Innovations developed the model of how ABA should be delivered to children with ASD and directly trained over 2,000 Instructor-Therapists in the Province.
Services of Behaviour Innovations are based on achieving optimal improvements using the highest standards of evidence-based practices through the training and supervision of caring staff.
What Is Applied Behaviour Analysis?
ABA consists of the use of a science-based methodology to identify factors that are needed to improve the skills and social behaviours of individuals, and through the use of carefully designed programs, measurable outcomes, and direct measurement of those outcomes, achieve socially-significant gains.
ABA is the only intervention supported by a body of research to produce significant improvement in the development of young children with ASD.
What Are Evidence-Based Interventions For Children with ASD?
Almost all professional disciplines have formed panels of experts to identify effective practices in that discipline that are supported by research evidence. There have been three recent reports in the field of assessment and treatment of children with ASD that are available here. One of those reports was developed in Ontario by the Ontario Scientific Expert Taskforce For the Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder of which Dr. Joel Hundert was a contributing author.
- Almost all identified Evidence-Based Interventions for children with ASD are ABA or based on the principles of ABA
- ABA interventions are effective for children with ASD of all ages
- ABA interventions are effective for many different targets of change
- The two major models of ABA Interventions are: a) Comprehensive ABA Interventions of 30-40 hours per week; and, b) Focused ABA Interventions of 10-25 hours per week.
Guidelines For Parents and Other Consumers
There are two ABA-affiliated organizations which have published guidelines for parents and other consumers of ABA services. These guideline provide standards for how ABA should be provided, including the qualification of the ABA provider. The “Autism Special Interest Group” of the Association of Behavior Analysis, International has published guidelines for parents on selecting supervisors of ABA treatment for children with ASD, which is available by clicking here.
The guidelines recommended that the supervisors of ABA treatment be either a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst, or a licensed psychologist with training in ABA with either having at least 1,000 hours of initial “hands-on” training and training in supervision. There is a checklist in the Guidelines for parents to use to evaluate potential supervisors. All supervisors at Behaviour Innovations would meet those standards.
The Behavior Analyst Certification Board® has produced practice guidelines for those managing and funding ABA treatment for ASD (located here). It covers the credentials of behaviour analysts, how both focused and comprehensive ABA treatment should be delivered, evaluation of ABA outcome, how to determine ABA treatment dosage, the training and supervision of frontline staff, and how to work with families and other caregivers. In February 2019, the BACB® released a statement to further clarify for funders of ABA intensity off treatment, supervision and caregiver training (located here).
Parents should choose the clinical supervisor for their child with ASD with care since it is likely to be one of the most important factors that would determine the success of the ABA therapy.