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Learning Center Experience
By Nelly A. Dixon, EdD, BCBA
The field of applied behavior analysis (ABA) is highly
recognized and commonly used as an effective methodology for teaching
individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) a variety of socially
significant skills in the areas of language, academics, behavior, and
socialization. Using a systematic, scientifically based model of treatment,
individuals with ASD can acquire skills that increase their overall
independence and quality of life.
ABA serves as an effective treatment model
for individuals across the lifespan, from toddlers to adults, and can be
implemented throughout all environments—homes, public and private schools,
job sites, group homes, residential facilities, and one’s community. Since ABA techniques
are implemented with individuals to develop skills and behaviors that are valuable
in real-life environments, treatment often occurs within the natural rather
than clinical setting to promote the acquisition and generalization of basic
and complex skills.
Individuals with an interest in applied behavior analysis
have many options for serving the autism community. The Behavior Analysis
Certification Board™ recognizes a number of certifications for individuals
interested in providing treatment using ABA, including the Registered Behavior
Technician (RBT), Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA), and Board
Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).
While the range of job specific responsibilities becomes
increasingly complex with each certification, all members of the ABA team
provide critical pieces of the treatment puzzle for individuals on the autism
spectrum. Because the field of autism and ABA are always evolving,
professionals in the field are expected to remain current in their practice by
participating in professional development activities, which may include
attending workshops and conferences, providing supervision services, and/or
Professionals in the field of applied behavior analysis
promote changes in behavior and skill acquisition primarily through the use of
reinforcements and positive behavior supports. Common responsibilities for ABA
Applied behavior analysis is a field of practice that continues
to grow; given the increased recognition by the federal government and mandated
coverage by insurance companies (Autism Speaks, 2016), services are becoming
more widely available to clients for whom ABA is an appropriate treatment option.
As such, opportunities for qualified practitioners in the field of applied
behavior analysis are expected to be in demand.
Autism Speaks (2016, March 01). The Daily Brief: ABA coverage to expand for federal employees in 2017. Retrieved from https://www.autismspeaks.org/advocacy/advocacy-news/aba-coverage-expand-federal-employees-2017.
Nelly A. Dixon, EdD, BCBA, is a faculty member at Kaplan
University. The views expressed in this article are solely
those of the author and do not represent the view of Kaplan University. The
University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.
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