Ethical Or Unethical Use Of Applied Behavior Analysis Provider Services
By: Lucinda M. Snyder
Ethics and Disabilities
Exclusion can be defined as any instances in which an individual is removed from social engagement opportunities and transitioned to an environment in which the individual is denied access to peers or other forms of positive reinforcement. Timeout is defined as any circumstance in which an individual is denied access to a preferred activity, item, location, or person for a period which can be determined or undetermined. While short-term timeout procedures are somewhat commonplace in the home and school environments, the use of exclusionary timeout is deemed by individuals and professionals to be more harmful than beneficial to clients who are participating in behavior-change programs. Recently, timeouts have been replaced with positive reinforcement based interventions which offer something of reinforcing value to individuals in return for appropriate behavior. In the field of applied behavior analysis, timeout procedures are considered a negative punishment and should only be used when positive reinforcement and least restrictive procedures have failed to yield results.
Timeout can acquire various forms, the most noted per (Cooper, et al.) are:
Non-Exclusionary Time Out- The participant is not completely removed from the environment and can still visually see the environment.