Applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapists are primarily responsible for the care and treatment of children with autism. They often provide care in a one-on-one situation, analyzing a child’s specific needs and developing and implementing therapies to address those issues. A variety of speech and language therapies may be used to improve verbal and communication skills. Once communication is established, social skills, cooperation, and common daily activities are addressed. Applied behavior analysis therapists work closely with the families of children with autism to teach them methods of assisting the child in developing life skills. They careful track and analyze the child’s progress and continually inform their board certified behavior consultant (BCBA) manager about the effectiveness of current treatment.
Applied behavior analysis therapists typically work in a clinical setting or (in some cases) in a patient’s home. They generally work a standard 40-hour week, and their work may be stressful and challenging. Most of their activities occur under the planning and direction of a board certified behavioral consultant. They must maintain current knowledge of the field and attend conferences and workshops to learn new strategies and therapies.
Applied behavior analysis therapists are typically required to hold at least an associate’s degree and often a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as psychology or education. Experience in patient contact and therapy or training, especially with children with autism, is preferred.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapist Tasks
- Treat patients based on defined interventions, consult with physicians regarding patient status and progress.
- Maintain updated knowledge on instruction of ABA, behavior management, and techniques applicable to the patient population.
- Perform behavioral analysis assessments and evaluations of patients.
- Record objectives of planned intervention and maintain patients progress and behaviors.