by | Sep 28, 2022 | ABA Therapy | 0 comments

The Role of the ABA Therapist

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an evidence-based science which informs a
a practical and comprehensive approach to behavior modification. Practitioners of this
science, called Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) rely on years of empirical
research to assess, design, and implement ABA programming for the beneficiaries or
clients that they service. ABA therapists, who may pursue credentialing as Registered
Behavior Technicians (RBTs) are those who operate under the supervision of a BCBA,
and are responsible for carrying out or implementing the specific programming that the
BCBA has designed.

Considering factors such as age, skill level, and disability, among many others, BCBAs
take care to specifically design a treatment program for each of their client’s unique
situations and needs. It is then imperative for the BCBA to ensure proper training of the
technician who will be responsible for the implementation of treatment. 
ABA therapists have several responsibilities when conducting their sessions. They must
make sure that they are adhering to the programming as designed by their BCBA
supervisor and are implementing appropriate ABA practices. Sessions include working
on specific skill deficits of the learner, while also implementing behavior intervention
procedures, such as reinforcement. Reinforcement can be used to target any socially
significant maladaptive behaviors that the learner may be exhibiting which hinder them
from acquiring these skills.

ABA therapists should also expect to be trained in various forms of data to be collected
during sessions. Data is an essential piece of the ABA model as it allows the BCBA to
determine the learner’s progress with skill acquisition and behavior reduction. The
BCBA often reviews the data in order to make informed decisions about whether any
modifications to programming are appropriate. The therapist should be prepared for any
such modifications as they will impact how sessions are conducted. 
ABA therapists need to be outgoing and approachable so as to develop a strong rapport
with their learners. Pairing is the process of a clinician associating themselves with
reinforcement so that when they arrive for instruction the learner is excited to see them
and is looking forward to their session. By establishing this positive relationship with
their learner, the technician is more likely to make meaningful progress during ABA

Therapists should also expect regular visits from their BCBA supervisor during sessions
where the BCBA will observe the technician’s implementation of programming in order
to ensure treatment integrity. The relationship between the therapist and the BCBA is
also an important one, as the two work closely together, and the BCBA must be able to
provide effective supervision to the technician. The technician should also be able to
communicate with the BCBA, updating them on sessions and seeking clarification on
any piece of the programming that may be unclear.


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