Dr. Ken MacAleese

Public Policy in Nevada: A Historical View and Our Next Steps

In 2009, Nevada passed Assembly Bill 162, which required health plans to cover “ABA” treatments for children diagnosed with Autism. This bill and the behavior analytic contributions that solidified its fruition (i.e., 2008 Autism Task Force Report) mark a historical starting point of behavior analytic public policy effort in Nevada. Thereafter, nearly every Nevada legislative session has included a bill draft request (BDR) related to the behavior analytic profession or consumers of its services with many becoming law. In this presentation, I’ll highlight some important public policy contributions that I, along with a small team of dedicated behavior analysts, have made since that time. Additionally, I’ll attempt to frame the current “state of the union” of behavior analysis in Nevada from a public policy standpoint with a particular interest in positioning behavior analysis favorably over the long-term. This will require many more behavior analysts getting involved in future policy initiatives, and to that end, tips will be offered that will help our field wade into the waters of politics.

About Ken MacAleese

Dr. Ken MacAleese founded Advanced Child Behavior Solutions (ACBS) with his wife, Alicia, in 2006.  He graduated from Auburn University in Auburn, AL in 1998 with a B.A. in Psychology (cum laude).  Ken received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Psychology (with an emphasis in Behavior Analysis) from the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). While at UNR, he was fortunate to receive training and supervision from prestigious faculty in a variety of areas in the behavioral assessment and treatment of childhood disorders including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), other childhood and adult intellectual and developmental disabilities, rare genetic or medical conditions, as well as the common behavioral challenges of neurotypically developing children such as toileting issues, sleeping in one’s own bed, and following parent instructions.

In addition to supporting ACBS’s clinicians, training processes, and business operations, he works as a clinical supervisor and consults with regional school districts in Northern Nevada.  He started his school consulting in rural districts and continues to be passionate about creating access to quality behavior analytic services for children, families, and schools in areas outside of the greater Reno/Sparks area.

Ken’s commitment to the science of behavior and its application drives his active participation in behavior analysis, both nationally and locally, in areas outside of his clinical and business operations.  Ken has presented in applied, experimental, and conceptual research topics at professional conferences throughout North America and has taught at UNR and Truckee Meadows Community College.  His commitment to behavioral science includes published scientific articles and book chapters on a variety of behavioral topics that include managing and implementing token economies, stereotypic behavior, reinforcement schedules, and bedtime resistance. He continues to remain active in promoting the science by regularly participating as an invited reviewer of manuscripts for publication in prominent behavior analytic journals and participating as a committee member for graduate student research in behavior analysis at UNR and Sacramento State University.  He has supported public policy efforts in Nevada since 2009 including regulatory professional and practice issues as well as funding and health insurance issues and has participated in legislative affairs as the public policy representative for the Nevada Association for Behavior Analysis (NABA) for the last 11 years. He continues to support advocacy organizations and funding and health insurance reimbursement improvements for children needing educational and behavioral services in the state.  Ken has supported the profession by serving as a subject matter expert for the Behavior Analysis Certification Board’s Registered Behavior Technician examination and has been twice served as the President of NABA.