Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Urges Certification Requirements For Behavioral Specialists Hired By Public Schools

April 14, 2010

            Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today urged the General Assembly to adopt legislation requiring that local school boards verify professional certification before hiring applied behavior analysts for special education of children with autism.

            Blumenthal urged the legislation as a New York woman was arraigned in Connecticut state court today for allegedly using false credentials to charge taxpayers and parents tens of thousands of dollars for autism treatment services.

            The operator of Spectrum Kids LLC was arrested last month following a joint investigative effort by Norwalk Police, the U.S. Department of Education and Blumenthal’s office.

Blumenthal’s office is continuing to work with Norwalk Police to seek restitution and possibly other remedies on behalf of taxpayers and consumers who were misled into spending thousands of dollars for services based on false credentials.

Meanwhile, Blumenthal said legislative action is necessary to ensure that local school boards -- and particularly children -- are protected from future harm. Blumenthal said local school boards should not be required to use applied behavior analysts -- but those that do should ensure that such analysts are certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).

“Parents deserve a promise of professionalism when their child is at stake -- particularly when their child requires specialized care,” Blumenthal said. “This legislation ensures that school boards, taxpayers, parents and – most of all – children are fully protected from deceptive and fraudulent services.

“It became clear during our joint investigation that there is no state certification or license to ensure that individuals or agencies hired for behavior analysis services meet minimum educational and professional criteria. I proposed this legislation in consultation with concerned parents, state and local school officials and behavioral experts.”

Other states that rely on BACB certification include Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota and Montana.