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Behavior Analysis in Practice

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 503–513 | Cite as

You Get What You Pay For: Three Years of Applied Behavior Analysis in Hong Kong With Relative Cost

  • Jeremy H. GreenbergEmail author
  • Tsoi-Yi Chung
Research Article

Abstract

There are decades of research literature that support the effective application of applied behavior analysis (ABA) in schools that have students with special needs, including autism spectrum disorder. Students ranging in age from preschool through secondary have benefited from ABA and its effectiveness. In light of the global economic downturn over the last decade, the costs of services for children with special needs has been analyzed and scrutinized across many levels of bureaucratic systems. Through its evidence-based methods, its focus on relevant outcome data, and its systematic measurement practices, ABA has offered many educational stakeholders the best way forward for one of modern society’s biggest behavioral health problems. The present study replicates a cost-benefit analysis and shows the outcomes of instruction in terms of cost in dollars. We reviewed 3 years of outcome data from an international school for students with special needs in Hong Kong. Special instruction with ABA was provided in individual, group, and inclusive classroom settings using learn units as the basic unit of instruction. A cost-benefit analysis showed the relative dollar amounts of the learn unit and instructional objectives, adjusted for inflation and compared across previous studies.

Keywords

Applied behavior analysis Autism Cost-benefit analysis Learn units Inclusion 

Notes

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Jeremy H. Greenberg declares that he has no conflict of interest with the research data in the present paper. Tsoi-Yi Chung declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

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Copyright information

© Association for Behavior Analysis International 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Children’s Institute of Hong KongKennedy TownHong Kong

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