German Laws Aligned with ABA Therapy

Basic Human Rights in Germany

Germany is known for its unwavering commitment to fundamental human rights. The Basic Law (Grundgesetz) stands as the pillar upholding its commitment. It assures basic rights such as the right to personal freedom (Article 2) and equality (Article 3). These rights are crucial for individuals to achieve independence and actively participate in society.

Autism Therapy as a Human Right

Germany explicitly extends these basic human rights to vulnerable populations, including those with disabilities and specifically children diagnosed with autism.

Social Code IX addresses with the rights and integration of people with disabilities. It sets out measures to promote their participation in society and provides access to rehabilitation services. SGB IX emphasizes the principle of inclusion and seeks to remove barriers that impede inde-pendence and participation in society.

Social Code VIII addresses child and youth welfare. It protects the rights of children, ensures their safety, and promotes their participation in decision-making. SGB VIII provides for services such as child protection, family assistance and youth participation to support the well-being, development and integration of children and young people into society.

Germany has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, an international human rights treaty that promotes and protects the rights of persons with disabilities. The CRPD recognizes the right to independence, inclusion and participation in all areas of life for persons with disabilities.

The Federal Participation Act (BHTG), which came into force in 2017, aims to improve the participation of people with disabilities in society. The BHTG provides measures and support to ensure equal participation, inclusion and self-determination of people with disabilities, including access to education, employment and social services.

First enacted in 2002 and revised in 2016, the Disability Equality Act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in various areas, including employment, education, and access to goods and services. The BGG promotes equal opportunities for people with disabilities and ensures their participation in society.

The General Equal Treatment Act (AGG), enacted in 2006, protects against discrimination, including on the grounds of disability. The AGG applies to all areas of society, including employment, education and access to goods and services. By ensuring equal opportunities, it supports the right to independence and participation in society.

ABA as an Autism Therapy

ABA therapy has been shown to be effective in improving the independence and participation in society of people with disabilities, including children with autism. For more than 50 years, applied behavior analysis has been defined by seven chracteristics,1Baer, D. M., Wolf, M. M., & Risley, T. R. (1968). Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 1(1), 91-97. 2Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2019). Applied behavior analysis (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Pearson Education. which ensure the uniform principles of effectiveness, appropriateness, and cost effectiveness (SGB IX §§ 38, 123).
Applied Behavior AnalysisSocial Security Code
The term applied in applied behavior analysis represents a commitment to improving lives. Applied behavior analysts select behaviors that improve everyday participation in society (e.g., social, communication, domestic, and occupational skills).Services must improve social participation through practical knowledge, understanding, and skills in key areas (e.g., social, communication, domestic, and occupational skills; SGB IX §§ 2, 81, 118).
Targets are measurements aimed at individual behavior, not surrogates for behavior (e.g., a therapist's subjective reports of progress). Beneficiaries and funders deserve demonstrable improvements in participation.Services must be individual, function-related, goal-oriented and data-driven (SGB IX §§ 13, 28, 39, 104, 117).
The causes of progress (or lack thereof) are identified (e.g., insufficient resources, insufficient skills, insufficient motivation). Only then can effective, expedient and economically efficient services be reliably designed.The services must take into account the multivariate nature of the disability (e.g. deficits in ability, motivation and resources; SGB IX §§ 49, 195) and the special features of the individual case (SGB IX §§ 28, 104; SGB VIII § 22).
Only replicable and teachable behavioral tactics are considered part of behavior analysis, although some tactics may be replicable and teachable to other specialists.Services should apply targeted, transparent and systematic procedures and measures (SGB IX §§ 37, 117).
conceptually systematic
Specific tactics are explained in terms of basic principles so that others can easily understand how they work, how they are appropriate for a particular person, setting, or problem, and how they can be systematically adapted.The services shall apply targeted, transparent and systematic procedures and measures (SGB IX §§ 37, 117). The services are to promote cooperation between service providers (SGB IX §§ 25-26).
For behavior analysts, a successful analysis practically means important improvements in behavior. A failed analysis changes an unimportant behavior or changes an important behavior to an unimportant degree (i.e., statistical significance is not sufficient).Services can only be justified if timely and effective participation in life in society is possible (SGB IX §§ 28, 112).
A change is generalized when it spreads to new environments without further guidance, results in new behaviors, or persists over time. Generalization improves cost effectiveness by reducing the initial and ongoing need for specialized support.Services should increase participation in a timely, effective, economical and sustainable manner (SGB IX §§ 4, 28).

Practical Implications

Cost coverage for ABA therapy from Knospe-Lerncenter is available for German residents.

We promote self-determination and the right to full, effective and equal participation in life in society with outpatient ABA therapy for children and adolescents. SGB IX forms the legal basis for our concept for people with intellectual disabilities and SGB VIII for people without intellectual disabilities.

Specifically, our services aim to prevent or remedy disadvantages (§§ 3-4 , 79 SGB IX) in social participation (§§ 5, 76, 113 SGB IX; § 29, 32, 35 SGB VIII) and educational participation (§§ 5, 75, 79, 112 SGB IX; §§ 14, 27, 30, 35 SGB VIII) by supporting the acquisition and maintenance of practical life skills (e.g. social competence, communication, mobility; § 81 SGB IX).e.g., social skills, communication, mobility; § 81 SGB IX) through direct (e.g., individual therapy; group therapy) and indirect services (e.g., caregiver training; §§ 31, 37 SGB VIII). In addition, our services can prepare beneficiaries for working life.

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