What is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst?

Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) are masters level clinicians who have completed approved graduate programs in Applied Behavior Analysis, (ABA) met supervised fieldwork requirements, and passed a certifying exam. This certification is considered standard in the field for minimum quality services and is required by all insurance companies for providers of behavioral services. This is not an entry level qualification and most Behavior Analysts have been working in the field for a number of years. BCBAs are required to keep current by participating in continuing education coursework to maintain their certification, and are bound to strict ethical guidelines. Please see the BACB website for more information about these requirements and to verify the qualifications of service providers.

Why ABA?

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is the only scientifically valid treatment for autism and has been endorsed by a number of state and federal agencies.  Within ABA there are also various treatment approaches and methodologies.

What is ABA?

ABA is based on the science of behaviorism with over 50 years of empirical knowledge behind it. It is a true science and Behavior Analysts adhere to its principles of data collection to monitor progress. Behavior Analysts use scientifically valid methods to increase behaviors or to teach new behaviors, to maintain behaviors, to generalize behaviors to other environments, as well as to reduce problem behaviors or behaviors that interfere with learning.

How is the Behavior Management Foundation different than other service providers?

The Behavior Management Foundation firmly believes that in order to achieve the best results for clients everyone working with the client must be on the same page. This includes educators, service providers, and family members. We also routinely go into clients’ schools to collaborate with educators and provide on-going training to parents and other family members. Our goal is to ensure consistency across all environments.

The Behavior Management Foundation's clinical staff share a philosophy in the benefits of naturalistic teaching. We believe skills taught in the natural environment and in natural situations produce the greatest results. Our approach revolves around using the client’s interests to create motivation for learning. We also adhere to teaching the most important skills first,  skills that revolve around the core defecits of autism like communication (expressing wants, answering questions, labeling objects in the environment), social skills (watching and learning from others, engaging with others, sharing experiences with others, following social norms), and play (using objects appropriately as intended, being able to remain engaged in activities, playing with others).

What does ABA therapy look like?

This varies greatly. ABA therapy is the umbrella containing various approaches (discrete trial teaching, pivotal response training, verbal behavior, naturalistic learning, etc.) When considering any treatment it is most important for families to ensure their treatment is a valid ABA approach. There are many types of autism treatment programs available that are not scientifically valid, make false claims to their effectiveness,  and ultimately waste valuable treatment time. Families who may not be happy with one type of behavioral treatment approach may be pleasantly surprised with a different type of behavioral approach or model.

What is your process and what will take place?

The clinical staff at Behavior Management Foundation are always available to discuss services and answer any questions you may have about what we do and our treatment approach. Generally, we will first check your funding source to see if ABA might be covered by your insurance. We will then begin an intake process which includes completion of intake paperwork, an extensive parent interview and behavioral observation of the client, an assessment, and a formal written report outlining a behavior intervention plan along with proposed treatment goals. Direct therapy then begins revolving around the treatment plan with daily data collection and frequent updates and modifications as needed. The behavior plan is very much a changing document. Clients are then re-assessed every 6 months and progress reports occur quarterly. Throughout the treatment process families receive training and the entire team meets at least monthly to discuss client progress.

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