The Five Main Tasks of an Applied Behavior Analyst
- Develop Treatment Plans
- Implement Interventions
- Evaluate Progress
- Supervise Teams
- Communicate With Others
An applied behavior analyst primarily works with children who have autism spectrum disorders. This professional can also help people who have other types of pervasive developmental disorders. The role of an applied behavior analyst lies mainly in the successful implementation of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)therapies, which are planned to treat each client on individually, based upon specific targeted goals and behavioral objectives.
Develop Treatment Plans
Treating each child on an individual basis is a very important duty of a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA). Developing a treatment plan for each client is one of an applied behavior analyst’s main tasks. Every person has a unique way of learning and has his or her own differences and issues that require specialized treatment. A BCBA performs research, works one-on-one with a client and a client’s family to create a treatment plan for behavior that will be the most effective one for that individual’s needs.
An applied behavior analyst can work either independently or as part of a team with other analysts, to monitor and implement treatment interventions in place to address an individual’s behavioral and social objectives and goals. This includes seeing that a treatment plan is being followed, using the ABA strategies that have been defined to achieve behavior gains. Part of implementing interventions may include gathering data to permanently document achievements and developing ways to to highlight and maintain those gains.
Monitoring the progress of a treatment plan for someone who is on the autism spectrum involves collecting data from each session and analyzing that data regularly. In this way, a team led by an analyst can see which interventions and treatments are actually working towards meeting the stated goals and objectives. If certain milestones are not being met, the BCBA may decide to redevelop some of the therapies being used in order to achieve more effective progress.
A practitioner of behavior analysis designs treatment plans and services. These services are usually for those with autism spectrum disorders and are either home-based or center-based. An analyst will make supervised visits to the family’s home to oversee the interactions between registered behavior technicians and their assigned clients, ensuring that appropriate techniques are being carried out and goals met.
Other aspects of this job are to train technicians in ways to implement treatment plans, improve staff performance and hold team meetings to discuss ways of reducing interfering behaviors and other matters.
Communicate With Others
According to the National Institutes of Health, practitioners of behavior analysis must be adept at supervising others and have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. It’s important that team members, families and children receiving services are able to completely understand the language a behavior analyst uses. Being about to speak about the skills needed to make decisions about clients’ needs improves collaboration with other professionals in affiliated fields, also.
Related Resource: 10 Best Online ABA Master’s Degree Programs
In addition to helping children on the autism spectrum and those with other disorders, working in this behavioral field is also helpful to adolescents and adults who are struggling with social and behavior management. Working as an evidence-based, applied behavior analyst is a very rewarding career that can positively affect socially important conduct.