Hawai'i Association for Behavior Analysis

To educate, advocate for, and support both providers and consumers 
of Applied Behavior Analysis.

Chapter 465-D Licensure of Behavior Analysts

Licensure for Behavior Analysts (Chapter 465-D) requires licensure for those who practice behavior analysis, with carefully crafted exemptions. The exemptions allow for psychologists, behavior analysis students, parents/guardians, individuals pursuing practicum to practice, under the oversight of a licensed behavior analyst (LBA). 

Does ABA belong on the IEP grid?

Short answer: yes

Long answer: “In order to submit claims and be reimbursed for the ABA services, the provider must prescribe such services in the student’s Service Delivery Needs in the IEP” “...supplementary documentation sources specifying the ABA services being provided is required to include type of personnel providing the ABA therapy and the duration/frequency of such therapy. The documentation should match the ABA services that will be included with the IEP amendment” (Massachusetts, 2015).


“When a particular methodology plays a critical role in the student’s educational plan, it must be specified in the IEP (Individualized Education Plan) rather than left up to individual teachers’ discretion” (Hawai’i, 2017).


"At a minimum, this summary of the decisions and agreements reached during the Team meeting must include: – (a) a completed IEP service delivery grid describing the types and amounts of special education and/or related services proposed by the district, and – (b) a statement of the major goal areas associated with these services."


"The IEP must include all special education services, related services, and supplementary aids and services the child needs, and the school will provide" (Wrightslaw: All About IEPs, page 37).


How do you get ABA in your IEP?

For families seeking ABA in DOE (who already have insurance-funded ABA)
1. Get a doctor's note, a physician’s order, and/or insurance approval for ABA services.
2. Call an IEP team meeting.
3. Request a Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA) from the DOE attend. Also invite your LBA, if you have services through your insurance.

For families seeking ABA in DOE (who do not have insurance-funded ABA)
1. Call an IEP team meeting.
2. Request a Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA) from the DOE attend.
3. Request that a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) be completed by a Licensed Behavior Analyst (in accordance with state law, Chapter 465-D).
4. Learn more about functional behavior assessments here: http://www.behaviorbabe.com/behavior-assessments-fba-2

When conducting initial ABA insurer-funded assessments
1. Always request to observe across settings (e.g., home, school, after-school care, sports, etc.)
2. Make recommendations based on client need, not availability
3. If observations, interviews, or records requested are denied or not provided, mention this in your report (provide context)

Basic client and consumer rights
1. ABA services should occur across settings.
2. ABA services must be reflected on the IEP grid.
3. ABA services must be provided by qualified providers; specifically a Licensed behavior analyst (LBA), who oversees Registered Behavior Technicians.

Know the Law (State law)
1. Chapter 465D: Behavior analyst licensure law requires individuals providing 1:1 to be Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT)
2. SB 1311 (2016): Granted the DOE a reprieve until 1/1/2019
3. HB 2271 (2018): Allows the DOE a reprieve until 1/1/2020 for ALL 1:1’s who provide ABA services to become Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs).
4. If the school does not offer ABA services overseen by a Licensed behavior analyst (LBA), provided by a Registered Behavior technician (RBT), then these services cannot be said to be equivalent to medically-necessary ABA. In these cases, parents can advocate for their insurance-funded behavioral team to provide treatment on the HIDOE public school campus.
5. If the HIDOE denies this, they are denying a sick child access to medically-necessary care, during a critical teaching window, which will cause irreparable harm to the child and the community. There is a pending class action lawsuit set to be brought against the DOE for these issues.

Federal Protections: IDEA, ADA, and FAPE

ABA in the DOE - Letter of the Law

R.E.B. vs. State of Hawai'i

September 13, 2017 - The panel held that the Department of Education violated the IDEA by failing to specify Applied Behavior Analysis as a teaching methodology in the IEP because this methodology was integral to the student’s education. When a particular methodology plays a critical role in the student’s educational plan, it must be specified in the IEP (Individualized Education Plan) rather than left up to individual teachers’ discretion (R.E.B vs State of Hawai'i)". LEARN MORE

Endrew F v. Douglas County

Endrew’s parents contended that the final IEP proposed by the school district was not “reasonably calculated to enable [Endrew] to receive educational benefits” and that Endrew had therefore been denied a FAPE. Rowley, 458 U. S., at 207. Endrew’s IEPs largely carried over the same basic goals and objectives from one year to the next, indicating that he was failing to make meaningful progress toward his aims. LEARN MORE Instruction Must be 'Specially Designed' to Meet 'Child's Unique Needs' Through an IEP Later, the Court returned to these concepts: “A focus on the particular child is at the core of the IDEA. The instruction offered must be ‘specially designed’ to meet a child’s ‘unique needs’ through an “[i]ndividualized education program.” §§1401(29), (14) 

Justices Nix Exclusion Barring In-School Coverage for Autism Treatment

October 5, 2017 - “Ultimately, we simply do not believe that the legislature intended to permit insurers to exclude coverage in the sensory-laden educational environment where children spend large portions of their days, or to require families to litigate the issue of medical necessity discretely in individual cases to secure such location-specific coverage for the treatment,” Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Saylor, who wrote the 22-page majority opinion, said. LEARN MORE

Applied behavior analysis in the HI DOE - History 

This page was updated 6/29/2018