Therapist Neurodiversity Collective


CCC-SLP Board Certified Specialist in ASD

Advocacy Project Protest CCC-SLP Board Certified Specialist in ASD (BCS-ASD)

The Therapist Neurodiversity Collective condemns the CCC-SLP Board Certified Specialist in ASD (BCS-ASD).
Competency Requirements: Board Certified ASHA Speech-Language-Pathologists are required to have knowledge of the core features of operant learning theory and application of behavior analysis, including positive and negative reinforcement and positive and negative punishment

The American Board of Autism Spectrum Disorders has determined that sensory integration dysfunction (SID) is a controversial and unsubstantiated diagnosis. BCS-ASD CCC-SLPs will be required to “lead and supervise teams of interventionists” (behavior technicians) and supervise “ABA insurance-reimbursed services related to communication.”

ABA is conversion therapy for Autistic people. It’s unethical and inhumane. The use of ABA on non-consenting humans is a violation of social justice, personal agency, self-determination, and body autonomy.

ABA: Also Known As

  • “Play-based” ABA
  • Pivot Response Treatment (PRT)
  • Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)
  • Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions (NDBI)
  • ABA + relationship-based therapy (ABA + DIRFloortime, SCERTS, Hanen, or similar)
  • Verbal Behavior (VB)
  • The Lovaas Approach
  • Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI)
  • Natural Language Paradigm ® (NLP)
  • PECS(®)

The American Board of Autism Spectrum Disorders Executive Board members are Dr. Lynn Kern Koegel and Dr. Stephen M. Camarata. Lynn Koegel and her husband, Robert, are the developers of Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT), a behavior treatment for Autism.  PRT is based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

Currently, this Clinical Specialty petition is in STAGE 2 (“Accepted”) per the American Speech & Hearing Association’s process.  Following Stage 2 acceptance by ASHA, the petitioning group is permitted to move forward with establishing their Specialty Certification Board, by completing additional steps before the board becomes operational and able to accept applications.

Over 6000 people have signed our petition.

In 2022, ABA is a 2.23 billion dollar industry. With the implementation of this autism certification, CCC-SLPs will potentially bill thousands of hours a year for ABA “autism treatment”. Read more here: ABA and the ASHA Agenda

CCC-SLP BCS-ASD Competency Areas

History: The CCC-SLP BSC-ASD  co-chaired by Dr. Lynn Koegel (who won an International ABA award for “enduring programmatic contributions in behavior analysis”), was accepted by the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) for official recognition from ASHA as a Specialty Certification Board on July 19, 2016.

It is important to note that the Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CFCC) changed the “Tenets for Specialty Certification” to add the following rule on November 1, 2019: “The Specialty Area directly affects the provision of services to clients/patients whose needs require a distinct body of knowledge, skills, and experience.”
Clinical Specialty Certification as a Specialty Certification Board

In the fall of 2019, ASHA CCC-SLPs, including Julie Roberts, M.S., CCC-SLP (founder of Therapist Neurodiversity Collective), and members of the Public raised issues with the lack of transparency from the Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialty Certification Board in the forms of an online petition as well as numerous emails sent to the ASHA Specialty Certification Board and to Dr. Koegel.

An ASHA Town Hall Meeting was subsequently scheduled for the 2019 ASHA Convention and held on Friday, November 22, where Dr. Koegel and Dr. Stephen Camarata (co-presenter) publicly committed to answering all audience questions from audience members.

However, instead of providing complete transparency as promised, the audience’s questions were heavily censored. Koegel and Camarata required that audience questions be submitted in writing on index cards during the Town Hall session. Towards the end of the session, the audience watched as Koegel shuffled through the cards while reading them, and hand-picked only the questions Camarata and she deigned to address.

When the ASHA19 BCS-ASD Town Hall session concluded, the Founder of the Therapist Neurodiversity Collective approached Camarata and inquired as to why none of the four questions she had submitted had been addressed. Camarata asserted that all audience questions submitted and not answered during the ASHA 19 Town Hall would receive an emailed response by the release date of the competencies in December 2019. 

During the Town Hall, audience members submitted their email addresses in order to be contacted by Koegel about updates to the BCS-ASD and to receive answers to our questions. To date, the audience’s unanswered questions have yet to be acknowledged and addressed.

Four Questions:
1) Percentage of Board Members and Committee Members who are BCBAs?
2) Percentage of Board Members and Committee Members who own or work in ABA Clinics or Businesses or Non-Profits?
3) If the Board or the Committee, or Stephen Camarata or Lynn Koegel had specifically reached out to ASAN or other “actually Autistic” self-advocacy organizations?
(This question was personally answered by Camarata after the session; he stated that the Board contacted Autism Speaks. Autism Speaks is not an Autistic self-advocacy organization.)
4) If a CCC-SLP is ethically opposed to the application of ABA methodologies in their practice, could they become board certified?

Our condemnation highlights the following:

  • This BCS-ASD Board’s failure to meaningfully engage with stakeholder communities, including the Autistic and other Disability self-advocate communities
  • This BCS-ASD Board’s failure to seriously consider the potential harm that may result from a process that completely ignores the experiences of Autistic self-advocates
  • Our ethical opposition to the use of Applied Behavioral Analysis methodologies in our therapy practices as a mandate for this certification
  • Our ethical opposition to a system of rewards/punishments in therapy practices as a mandate for this certification
  • Our strong moral objections and ethical repugnance to the use of restraint and all aversive methods, including those “medically indicated” (Which calls to mind the Judge Rotenberg Center’s inhumane use of electric shock torture)
  • The BCS-ASD Board’s embarrassing lack of knowledge and application of current scientific research (ex: autistic brain differences, trauma, emotional regulation)
  • The perils and problems with the therapy goals of “normalization” and the trauma induced by masking, trauma induced by force-feeding, and trauma-induced by mandatory compliance
  • Our strong opposition to the certification requirement for “supervision of ABA insurance-reimbursed services related to communication”
  • The competency mandate for research should include Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR)
  • Our objection to the statement regarding “Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) and sensory integration dysfunction (SID)” and the lack of acknowledgment and application regarding current scientific research in these areas, including recent 2019 research conducted by BCS-ASD Board Member, Stephen Camarata (Use of the STAR PROCESS for Children with Sensory Processing Challenges)