Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientific approach to understanding and improving human behavior. A Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is a professional who has received certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) to practice ABA. A BCBA works with a wide range of individuals, including children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), individuals with developmental disabilities, and people with mental health disorders.
The primary role of a BCBA is to assess, design, implement and evaluate behavior-change programs to help individuals achieve their goals. This can include addressing problem behavior, improving communication and social skills, increasing academic performance, and developing life skills. The BCBA conducts a functional behavior assessment (FBA) to determine the causes of challenging behaviors and then uses the results of the FBA to develop a behavior intervention plan (BIP). The BIP may include positive reinforcement, extinction, and prompting strategies to teach new skills and reduce problem behavior.
The BCBA's role also includes training parents, teachers, and other caregivers to implement behavior interventions effectively. This includes teaching them how to collect and analyze data to monitor progress and make data-driven decisions. The BCBA may also conduct staff training and provide supervision to ensure that behavior intervention programs are implemented correctly and produce positive outcomes.
In addition, the BCBA may be involved in program development, research, and teaching. They may work in a variety of settings, including schools, clinics, hospitals, residential facilities, and private practices.
To become a BCBA, an individual must hold a graduate degree in behavior analysis, education, or psychology, and have completed a minimum of 1500 hours of supervised experience in behavior analysis. They must also pass a rigorous exam administered by the BACB and adhere to a strict code of ethics.
The work of a BCBA is critical in improving the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities, and mental health disorders. Here at Leap Autism Therapy, we have BCBA's that work with our clients daily.