ABA uses prompts and conditioning to evoke change. These strategies are only as effective as the clinics and behavioral therapists applying them, and prospective clients often wonder, “What does an ABA therapist do?”
In this blog, we’ll answer the following questions:
- What is the role of an ABA therapist?
- What is the difference between a behavior therapist and an ABA therapist?
- What is an example of ABA in the classroom?
What is the Role of an ABA Therapist?
While a Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is there to create the most appropriate ABA program for your child, a quality ABA technician is there to implement that programming. Their job (and our passion) is to create a plan that helps communication skills between parents, educators, therapists, and children. The outcome of a positive ABA experience should be sustainable long-term growth in behavior. Following are some things that you can expect from your ABA technician.
Create a Positive Environment
This pertains to the overall behavioral flow between home, clinic, school, and other social settings. It is important that cues and responses can translate from any location, and the environment created by a good ABA technician will help to teach this.
Create Goals for Your Child
With the use of data and targeted response to it, it is easy to construct goals using ABA. There should be short-term behavioral changes and benchmarks that measure them, and each behavior should contribute to the long-term growth, happiness, and well-being of your child.
Use Practices Like Pairing and Reinforcement
This methodology is when an ABA technician will connect themselves with the learner’s favorite items and activity and then create reinforcing actions to develop a specific behavior. Through these teaching channels, a technician will establish themselves as an actor of change, allowing more rapid growth as your child learns to trust them.
During every session, data is collected to ensure that your child is progressing or mastering each goal/target of their program. It is important that the data is there so the BCBA can use it to drive programming and continue success for your child.
Encourages and Assists in Development and Learning
Like any relationship between a client and a patient, there is an integral human element to it. The theory of ABA alone will not lead your child to success — you should look for a technician who will be positive, encourage your child, and that will establish a connection with all elements of your child’s life.
Ultimately, encouragement and structure are two of the most valuable things for changing behavior, and your child will look to learn from their practitioner.
We always recommend having a thorough discussion with a potential technician about their viewpoints on ABA and how they will help your child accomplish the goals agreed upon by both of you. This will allow you to be on the same page from start to finish in a successful therapy routine.
Works Themselves Out of a Job
ABA technicians should be focused on encouraging long-term growth. Any quality practitioner will agree with that notion, and the hope is that your child may no longer need those types of therapy sessions soon.
Another vital component of any ally to a child with autism (and especially their provider) is adaptability. As we have seen a need for different settings, communication methods, and timelines, a quality practitioner should still be able to prescribe ABA in a manner that shows consistent results.
|ABA Therapist Statistics in the U.S.|
|Average Age: 35-40 years old|
|Gender Ratio: Females: 85.60% / Males: 15.4%|
|Job Growth Rate: More than 20% increase by 2029|
|Average Salary: $42,735|
|Employed ABA Therapists: Approximately 33,633|
|ABA Therapy Companies: Over 100|
|Majority Located: New York, NY, and Indianapolis, IN.|
What is the Difference Between a Behavior Therapist and an ABA Therapist?
While commonly used interchangeably, behavior therapists and ABA therapists they’re two separate jobs that take on different roles and responsibilities. Behavior therapists (also called board-certified behavior analysts) have more qualifications and expertise in the field of behavior analysis, such as passing the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.
Because of this, ABA therapists work with patients under the supervision of a behavior therapist. Likewise, ABA therapists are specifically trained in applied behavior analysis, while behavioral therapists deal with a broader scope of therapeutic approaches.
What is an Example of ABA in the Classroom?
When a child displays behavioral issues in the classroom, such as disrupting other students, not remaining seated, or speaking out while the teacher is talking, the teacher can adopt a positive reinforcement approach.
By providing encouragement whenever the child exhibits non-disruptive behavior, the teacher can effectively address attention-seeking tendencies often observed in children. Rather than consistently punishing poor behaviors, the focus shifts to rewarding the child for positive actions, like staying in their seat and remaining quiet during lessons. This reinforces the idea that good behavior warrants positive recognition and response.
Published On: October 26, 2020
Updated On: July 28, 2023