How to behave ethically in a world of fads

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Abstract

Although applied behavior analysis (ABA) has significant scientific support for treating people with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), the field of autism treatment has been plagued with rapidly proliferating fad treatments subjecting people with ASD to various ineffective, pseudoscientific, and antiscientific treatments. To combat this, professionals must learn to make ethical treatment decisions, sometimes before research is conducted or published. Even when research is available negating fads, behavioral professionals must also overcome misperceptions about ABA. The purposes of this paper are to provide behavioral professionals with (a) a mechanism for making ethical treatment decisions (using sensory integration as an example) and (b) a method for responding to potential misperceptions and obstacles to using ABA. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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