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How To Be An Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist

How to Be an Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist

As an ABA behaviorist, you will be using Applied Behavior Analysis to take care of children diagnosed with autism. You will set up reward systems that help reinforce the behavioral and social skills that have been taught. According to the National Institute of Child and Human Development, ABA is a viable method of treating the various conditions falling under Autism Spectrum Disorders.

There are professional organizations that offer certifications for therapists that already have a Ph.D. or master’s degree in relevant fields such as Early Child Development or Psychology. You are specifically required to study the principles of applied behavioral analysis or psychology in general. However, there are different ABA courses depending on your level of education.

The Widely Recognized ABA Credentials Include:

  • Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BcABA)
  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctorate (BCBA-D)
  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

You can receive these credentials if you hold either a bachelor’s or master’s degree and are attending relevant classes. BcABA requires a bachelor’s degree while BCBA requires a master’s degree.

There are both bachelor’s and master’s ABA degree programs that you can take. You can take a Bachelor of Science in Behavior Analysis or Bachelor of Arts in Psychology majoring in ABA. The programs usually require that you complete coursework in Social Science, English, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, Computer, and Science.

Some Of The Things You Will Cover During Your Coursework Include:

  • Behavior Principles
  • History of Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Psychology Statistics
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • Organizational Behavior Management
  • Techniques and Strategies in Behavioral Intervention

The Master’s ABA Programs Include:

  •     Cognitive Psychology
  •     Functional Assessment
  •     Biological Foundations of Behavioral Disorders
  •     Learning and Behavior Analysis
  •     Stimulus Control

Apart from these educational requirements, you must be very dedicated, particularly if you intend to work with children diagnosed with autism, a field that requires a great deal of patience. You must also genuinely love this field, as this is not just another job but a cause. You must be able to make assessments impartially. Additionally, excellent communication skills are essential, no matter which area you expect to work in. On top of all these, you must be committed to taking further ABA learning on a regular basis so that you will always be up to date with the latest developments and techniques.

ABA Training Will Qualify You To Work In Areas Such As:

  • Using the ABA approach to treat children with autism.
  • Teaching parents of children with autism how to use the ABA approach.
  • Teaching ABA techniques to college students.
  • Workplace setting dealing with employee performance

ABA training allows you to work at a social service organization, consulting firm, school, or independently.

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Parent Waitlist Program


November 02, 2023 | 12pm-1pm PDT

Journey to Independence

Community-based program designed to support families on waitlist

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
Special Learning’s Free Hotline

This is an independent SL Hotline that is part of our VCAT service. This hotline has no connection with any other association or membership group.

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