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What is a BCBA Anyways?

10 blog avatar 1 What is a BCBA Anyways?
Expert Name: Erin Lombard
Expert Title: M.Ed., BCBA
Company Name:  Step By Step Academy
Company URL: www.stepbystepacademy.org
Short Bio: Erin Lombard is a behavior consultant with over 12 years of experience working with children in homes, schools, and center based programs.

She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a previously certified Special Education teacher in Arizona. Along with providing consultation through SBSA, she also currently teaches Positive Behavior Support courses at Northern Arizona University. Erin is originally from California where she earned her undergraduate degree in Child and Adolescent Studies from California State University, Fullerton. She obtained her master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Phoenix. She completed her coursework in applied behavior analysis from the University of North Texas. She is currently working on her PhD in Psychology at Capella University.

What is a BCBA Anyways?

As you look for a consultant for your child’s home program or center based programming, you may have come across the credentials “B-C-B-A.” And you may be wondering “what does that mean and do I need a provider with these credentials?”

BCBA stands for Board Certified Behavior Analyst. There are three distinctions for certified behavior analysts:

(1) Bachelor’s degree level – board certified assistant behavior analyst (BCaBA);
(2) Master’s degree level – board certified behavior analyst (BCBA);
(3) Doctoral level – board certified behavior analyst – doctoral (BCBA-D).

All certified behavior analysts have completed coursework specific to behavior analysis, completed at least 1,000 hours of supervised field work experience, and passed a board exam. Certified behavior analysts also are required to complete continuing education credits to maintain their certification.

The following states require a behavior analyst to also be state licensed to practice behavior analysis in that state.
• Arizona
• Kentucky
• Missouri
• Nevada
• Oklahoma
• Wisconsin

When you have a consultant certified as a BCBA, BCaBA, or BCBA-D, you can be confident that this person has a formal education and experience in behavior analysis. However, you want to ensure that your consultant is right for you and your child.

In order for you to make the determination, consider asking the following questions before hiring your consultant:
• Are you currently or in the process of becoming a certified behavior analyst?
• How many years have you provided consultation services to children, adolescents, or adults?
• What are your guiding principles when working with consumers?

If you are looking for a certified behavior analyst in your area, you can find them by using Special Learning’s BCBA National Directory at – https://special-learning.com/bcba.


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Being an RBT for me was extremely fun because where were you going to find a place where you can be completely silly without having to worry what people thought about you? This was the only job that made me feel like I could make a dramatic difference while being myself.

I also liked to be surrounded by people that had the same goals of wanting to help kids and the teamwork made the job much easier and more enjoyable.

Change and progress was the ultimate goal for our kiddos. The early intervention program was seriously only a miracle because I saw changes in the kiddos that from day one, you wouldn’t even recognize who they were.

Changes from being able to utter 3-4 words where they can only make a syllable from when they started, the behavior decreases in which kiddo that used to engage in 30-40 0 self-harm to only half, learning how to wait during games, table work where they use to swipe and drop to the floor if they had to.

My favorite was when the parents would tell us what amazing progress they were making at home. I used to tear up and felt for these parents so much because it was already difficult for them and now, they can trust and rely on ABA and the therapists knowing their goal was ours.

By Emma Rogers, BA, RBT

Mother Child
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