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Over the past ten years, the field of Applied Behavior Analysis has experienced an extraordinary growth, related in large part to the explosion in the number of children being diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder/Autism and the recognition of the success of behavior analytic interventions in their treatment. Among the many changes noted, has been the transition of the field of Applied Behavior Analysis for a primarily academically oriented focus to one of a true profession. The effect of the recognition of this change is best noted in the recent establishment of the Practice Board of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). The efforts of the Practice Board are well documented in the most recent edition of the ABAI Newsletter (, which includes a detailed description of the activities of the Governmental Affairs Committee and the actions taken by the ABAI Executive Council at its recent winter meetings to support these initiatives. Perhaps the most important outcome of these decisions was the action by the ABAI Executive Council to approve, in principle, a decision to move forward with the Practice Board's proposal to pursue licensure for Applied Behavior Analyst practitioners. For practitioners of Applied Behavior Analysis to compete with other recognized human service professions, it is critical that we examine the standards required to be considered as practicing Applied Behavior Analysts and take the steps necessary to ensure that our standards are at least on-par with all of the other professions. At present, the only recognized standards applicable are those of the Behavior Analysis Certification Board[c], which allows an individual to become board certified with as few as 15 graduate credit hours (225 classroom contact hours) of study in applied behavior analysis. In comparison, in addition to the typical requirement of the completion of a standard number of hours of fieldwork/internship (ranging from 600 to 1200 hours for Master's prepared candidates, and 2000 hours for Doctoral prepared candidates; two years fulltime for a Psychologist), and passing an approved examination, states generally require specific educational requirements be met to in order to provide such professional services to the general public. For example:

* Occupational Therapists are required to have "successfully completed an accredited occupational therapist educational program approved by the board;"

* Physical Therapists must "be a graduate of an accredited educational program leading to professional qualification in physical therapy and approved by the board;"

* Psychologists are required to have "received a doctoral degree in psychology from a recognized educational institution;"

* Master's level Mental Health Counselors, must complete a master's degree in mental health, Psychology or a related field, with a "minimum of 60 graduate semester hours;"

* Educational Psychologists must also complete a master's degree in Educational Psychology with "60 credits of approved graduate course work."

While none of us doubts the effectiveness of Applied Behavior Analysis, most especially in the treatment of children diagnosed with Autism, it seems clear that we have a long way to go in creating appropriate credentialing standards prior to joining the ranks of the other recognized human services professions.

Following in the spirit of these important actions, the Editorial Board of JEIBI has elected to make several important changes in the structure and presentation of the journal to remain at the forefront of the field of Applied Behavior Analysis and to recognize the growing need to support ABA practitioners who depend upon us for the most up-to-date and relevant information possible to support their needs. The first of these changes is the addition of two new members to the Editorial Board. Ms. Judith Ursitti and Robert Crabtree, Esq. have agreed to serve in the capacity of Contributing Editors for JEIBI. In their roles, Judith and Bob will publish articles in each issue of JEIBI addressing their unique and important areas of expertise. As you will note below, Judith is actively involved in the Legislative Affairs Committee of Autism Speaks and is an expert on the status of critical legislative efforts to ensure the proper treatment for children diagnosed with Autism. Judith will publish updates on the status of these efforts and provide us with the information necessary to effect such changes in our own states. Bob is a well known attorney in the greater Boston area, representing parents seeking to ensure that their children are afforded a Free and Appropriate Public Education. Bob has practiced in this area for almost 30 years and is an expert in special education law. Bob will work to keep us apprised of the most recent court rulings which impact the field of Special Education Law and the ability of parents to effectively advocate for the children's educational needs. Representing the Editorial Board of JEIBI, I want to welcome both Judith and Bob to our Board and encourage you to use the information they present in your practice.

Judith Ursitti:

Judith is Regional Director, State Advocacy Relations for Autism Speaks. Judith is primarily responsible for managing the relationships between Autism Speaks and the state and local governments of designated states, Autism Speaks constituents and state chapter advocacy leaders, as well as other autism organizations.

Judith has over a decade of experience in tax accounting and has been heavily involved in autism advocacy since her son Jack's diagnosis in 2005. She participated in the lobbying effort in Texas for the passage of HB 1919, appearing on various local networks to promote the bill and its mandate for autism-related insurance coverage. In addition, she is the Chapter Advocacy Chair for the Boston chapter of Autism Speaks, is a member of the Parent Advisory Council for the recently released Autism Speaks 100-day kit, and is the author of the blog Autismville which is published by Currently she is working to pass autism-related insurance legislation in Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey.

Judith holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Georgia College and State University and is a Certified Public Accountant. She and her husband Andy live in Dover, Massachusetts and are parents to two children, Amy, age 8 and Jack, age 5, who has ASD.

Robert Crabtree, Esq.:

Robert was a co-founded of the law firm Kotin, Crabtree and Strong, LLP with his partner Lawrence Kotin in 1981. Within the general practice of this 19-lawyer firm, he and several colleagues maintain an exceptionally active concentration in special education and disability law. Mr. Crabtree graduated from Bowdoin College in 1967, Andover Newton Theological School in 1971, and the Northeastern University School of Law in 1976. In 1971-72, as Research Director for the Legislature's Joint Committee on education, and working behind the scenes with Mr. Kotin, then of the Governor's office, he drafted much of the Massachusetts special education law and was instrumental in its final passage and implementation. (The Massachusetts law, sometimes referred to as "Chapter 766" served as one critical model for the later-enacted federal special education law now called the Individuals With Disabilities Act, or "IDEA".) He is the author of numerous articles concerning special education and disability law and advocacy and has spoken and taught widely on related subjects. Before founding Kotin, Crabtree & Strong, LLP, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Walter J. Skinner of the United States District Court for Massachusetts and then worked in the litigation department of a large Boston law firm. In 2005, Mr. Crabtree was a co-recipient, with Mr. Kotin, of the Martha Ziegler Founder's Award, given by the Massachusetts-based advocacy organization, the Federation for Children with Special Needs, recognizing their part in the origins of the Massachusetts Special Education Law and their "decades of dedication to students with disabilities and their families." Many other writings by Mr. Crabtree may be found through and on his law firm's website at

A second and perhaps even more dramatic change for JEIBI relates to our name and Mission statement. With the advent of our last issue, JEIBI moved from a "by invitation only" journal, where all published manuscripts were required to have been "invited' by a member of the Editorial Board, to one that is fully open to anyone who wishes to submit their work for Peer Reviewed consideration. In making this transition, we have come to realize that two issues continue to remain as a hindrance to our overall success. The first is the name of our journal and the second is the need to revise our Mission Statement to be more consistent with our overall goals and purpose. What we have found is that the terms "Early" and "Intensive" carry with them connotations which may limit our scope and deter some researchers/authors from considering JBAIC for their work. Thus, the Editorial Board of JBAIC, with the support of Michael Weinberg, Ph.D., BCBA, Chair, Behavior Analysis Online, have elected to rename JBAIC to: The Journal of Behavior Assessment and Intervention for children (jbaic).

With this change in name, the Mission of JBAIC will be edited slightly to reflect the expanded focus on children of all ages, with or without disabilities. The modified Mission Statement of JBAIC will be:

The mission of The Journal of Behavior Assessment and Intervention for Children (JBAIC) is to serve as a resource to teachers, researchers and parents of children of all ages. JBAIC's target populations include children diagnosed with developmental disabilities, medical issues, and mental health diagnoses, as well as those who are considered neuro-typically developing. JBAIC's philosophical orientation is grounded in the science of human behavior, specifically promoting empirically supported research focused on functional behavior assessment and treatment interventions, as well as innovative teaching methodologies which meet the standards of Evidence Based Practices. Additionally, JBAIC seeks to provide a forum for the discussion of critical contemporary issues within the public domain that serve to affect the provision of such services. As such, we welcome and encourage not only the submission of research on successful interventions, but also the submission of literature reviews, legislative/legal briefs, and position papers focused on the ethical issues affecting the delivery of such services. In addition, articles and research conducted on organizational behavior management related to the improvement of program design and development will also be accepted.

It is the hope of the Editorial Board of JBAIC that these changes, along with the Open Submission/Peer Reviewed format will establish JBAIC as a viable resource for both new and innovative behavioral assessment and treatment research, as well as an outlet for the sharing and discussion of issues critical to the treatment of the children we serve.



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Author:Dorsey, Michael F.
Publication:The Journal of Early and Intensive Behavioral Intervention
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Sep 22, 2008
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