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What Does a Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA) Do?

Image of child being interviewed for our FAQ What Does a Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA) Do?

A licensed behavior analyst is someone who has applied behavior analysis training and feels confident working with individuals with behavioral problems. Also called an LBA, this type of professional typically has a college degree and a certificate from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Though many assume that they only work with people who have autism, they also help those on the autism spectrum and those with certain types of disorders and diseases such as those suffering from attachment disorders. College students interested in working in this field should look at some of the duties and tasks that the professionals do on the job.

Analyze Individuals

Analyzing individuals is the most important thing that an LBA will do on the job. They often call these individuals clients rather than patients, which has a negative connotation. The process may require that the analyst observe the client during his or her normal day. They will watch their clients as they go to school, spend time with friends and family and do other routine tasks. An LBA is responsible for analyzing the client’s actions and identifying where that person needs the most amount of help. They can also analyze groups of clients when doing research projects too.

Design Treatment Plans

Once an LBA finishes analyzing the way a client acts and behaves, the professional will decide on a treatment plan. This plan will address any specific needs that the individual has and what he or she needs to do every day. It may include role-playing tasks that show clients how to interact with others at home or out in the world. Younger clients may need a treatment plan that includes teaching them about colors and numbers. Treatment plans often include daily living training too, which helps clients learn how to get dressed, brush their teeth and handle other routine chores.

Make Ethical Choices

Any analyst working in this field must make ethical choices and agree to follow the ethical guidelines established by professionals who came before them. According to the BACB, the official code covers the way they should act in the field as they spend time with other analysts and the way they interact with their clients. This code has an entire section on the rights of those clients and the information that analysts can share with caseworkers and anyone else involved in a treatment plan. It includes guidelines on what they should do when engaged in research projects too.

Train Therapists

More advanced and experienced LBAs are often responsible for training therapists too. ABA therapists work directly with these clients and implement the treatment plans that they and analysts create. Full therapists must have several years of experience and a college degree before taking the BACB licensing test. LBAs can train college students who want to work with these clients and help them understand how the treatment plan works. They may work with the client’s parents and other loved ones to show them how they can act around that individual also.

An LBA can work with individuals in comfortable settings such as a home or school, but they can also work with larger groups of clients in clinical settings. Some of the tasks that these professionals handle on a daily basis can include training new workers and making sure that they follow the established ethical guidelines.

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