“I wouldn’t be where I am today if I were neurotypical because I would have been interested in social things. Having a little autism helped me achieve my goals and not miss what most people thought I was missing out on. “- Quote by Evan Delaney Rodgers, politician.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an evidence-based best practice treatment by the U.S. Surgeon General and by the American Psychological Association. ABA is a therapeutic approach that focuses on modifying socially significant behaviors. Through the systematic use of the principles of behavior, functional and adaptive skills are increased, while maladaptive or undesirable behaviors are decreased. Research has shown that ABA therapy is an effective treatment for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as other co-morbid developmental disorders. As each human being is unique in his/her own way, ABA therapy is modified by a unique team to meet the needs of each child, leading to constructive changes over a period of time.
In this blog, we are sharing information on who is qualified to be an ABA therapist.
In brief, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is typically provided by the following categories of professionals:
Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs)
Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBAs)
Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs)
Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) - A BCBA is a professional who has met the educational and professional training requirements set by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board. A BCBA requires a Master’s degree in Psychology, Child Development, or a related field. Some BCBAs possess a doctoral degree in one of these domains and are known as BCBA-Ds. The main duties of BCBAs are conducting clinical assessments, setting skill based and behavior goals, reviewing and adjusting treatment goals, conducting parent and caregiver training, overseeing the work of Registered Behavior Technicians and BCaBAs, making sure the ABA program is executed properly and effectively, and writing progress reports.
Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBAs) - A BCaBA (assistant Behavior Analyst) performs under the guidance of a BCBA and has almost the same role as that of a BCBA. A BCaBA is also certified by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board and has met the mandatory training and education requirements. A BCaBA has a Bachelor’s degree in the field of Psychology, Child Development, or a similar field.
Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) - A RBT is an individual who practices under the direct supervision of a BCBA, BCaBA, or BCBA-D. The Registered Behavior Technician is main executor of ABA services. An RBT typically works 1:1 with a person on the spectrum in a treatment setting (home, school, clinic, etc.) RBTs must be a minimum of 18 years old, holding at least a high school diploma, attend a designated training program, and meet other prescribed eligibility requirements. They are not competent or allowed to conduct evaluations or curate any form of treatment / therapy.
Paraprofessionals - They are professionals who work under the guidance of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). They provide 1:1 instruction for children with Autism in a treatment setting.