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What to Expect From Your BCBA (What’s a BCBA?)

If you have heard the term BCBA, raise your “virtual” hand!

What is a BCBA anyway?

BCBA stands for Board Certified Behavioral Analyst.  These professionals are the experts in the field of behavior analysis. BCBA’s have completed an approved graduate course sequence, done 1500 hours of supervised experience, have passed the Behavioral Analysis Certifications Board (BACB) Exam and abide by a Code of Ethics created by the BABC.

But what does a BCBA do?

BCBA’s are responsible for a lot here at The REC:

  1. Conduct assessments
    After a new client submits an intake packet, our BCBA’s  conduct an initial assessment.  The assessment begins with a meeting with the individuals parents/guardians to get to know their child and determine their priorities for treatment. Next, a direct observation at the center is scheduled, followed by subsequent observations at the center, home or school until the BCBA has sufficient information to create an individualized and comprehensive treatment plan.
  2. Develop behavior support plans
    BCBA’s have extensive training in developing a variety of behavior plans which are designed to help an individual. Behavior analysts also have training in understanding behavior and the environmental factors that affect behavior.  Once the function of the behavior has been identified, BCBA’s create behavior support plans to teach and reinforce approachable behavior while reducing instances of interfering behavior.
  3. Train and oversee the direct staff
    The BCBA plays a major role in training and overseeing the staff that work directly with a person. They make sure that the programs which are designed for someone are being taught correctly and that there is consistency amongst staff to achieve each individualized goal for the client.
  4. Meet and train parents
    Just like the BCBA wants to make sure the direct staff are following a specific teaching program, they are also responsible for meeting with the parent or guardian of the child to train them on what is being taught at the center so it can be replicated at home.  It is best practice to ensure the skills that are being taught at the center are also being taught in the home or out in the community.
  5. Analyze data
    The BCBA’s are also responsible for making sure the treatments that are being provided are actually working. Therefore, the BCBA continuously track the data from each program to make any necessary clinical changes to programming or treatment plans.

There are also specific criteria that a BCBA must do in order to maintain their certification status. BCBA’s must renew their certification status every 2 years. For a complete list of what is required, you can visit the BACB website HERE.

With all that being said, the BCBA’s ultimate goal is to see positive results for the individuals they work with.  They are committed to working with the teachers, specialists and family members to make sure everyone is working towards the same goal for each person.

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