Ethics and Autism: Seven Deadly Sins and Fifty Shades of Grey

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This presentation was filmed at the 2015 CCBS West Coast Conference on Autism.

About the presentation:

Clinicians who provide psychological and behavior analytic services to people on the autism spectrum face some unique challenges. In certain instances the lines between what is acceptable and unacceptable are clear. However, in other circumstances those lines can easily become blurred. Professions develop codes to help their members understand what is expected of them in terms of increasing the likelihood of engaging in ethical behavior. These codes also help the public understand what they should and should not expect from encounters with members of that profession. This talk will cover some of the areas encountered by providers of autism services that clearly violate the ethical standards both for Psychologists and for Board Certified Behavior Analysts. More importantly it will cover the grey areas that can mislead well-intentioned clinicians.

Upon completion of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • List one similarity that is shared by most moral, legal and ethical codes of conduct.
  • List two key challenges faced by behavior analysts providing services that are not typically faced by clinical psychologists serving children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
  • List three steps they should take when faced with a situation that leaves them unsure about the ethical course of action.

About the presenter:

Dr. Holdsambeck is a licensed psychologist with over 35 years of clinical experience delivering services to people with developmental disabilities, including those on the autism spectrum. He was one of the first to become board certified in behavior analysis (#0007). The company he founded, Holdsambeck and Associates, employs over 230 clinicians serving 1500+ individuals annually in California. Previously he served his country as a Captain in the Air Force and his community as a professor of behavior analysis for over 25 years. He was selected as the 2010 distinguished colleague by the Chicago School LA’s Department of ABA. In 2011, he received the outstanding service award from the Cambridge Center for his work in bringing evidence-based practices to California. Dr. Holdsambeck is an author and frequent keynote speaker at National and State conferences. In addition to the activities mentioned above, he currently serves as the Executive Director of the prestigious Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies™.