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West Virginia Psychology Board Withdraws Controversial ABA Proposal

September 29, 2011

NEW YORK (September 29, 2011) – Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, today applauded the West Virginia Board of Examiners of Psychologists for acting in the best interests of the state’s families by withdrawing an emergency rule that would have disrupted care for children with autism.
The rule, which took effect in June, would have prevented practitioners of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from providing treatment for children with autism unless they were supervised by licensed psychologists. A new law enacted earlier this year required health insurance companies to begin covering the cost of ABA treatments.
But under the emergency rule issued in June, the practice of behavior analysis without a psychology license was deemed an "immediate threat to public health, safety, or welfare." The rule disrupted treatments for many families caring for children with autism by effectively suspending the work of Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts.
“Autism Speaks intends to continue working closely with state officials and the autism community to enable ABA practitioners to continue providing services needed by West Virginia families, said Lorri Unumb, Autism Speaks vice president for state government affairs.