As an applied behavior analyst, whether that be a student or fully-trained professional, staying up-to-date with the latest research, beneficial techniques and strategies, and news within the field is imperative. There is such great value in continuing to seek out professional development opportunities outside of the college classroom and supervision hours. Those who advance their learning through various means can effectively help their clients in ways that analysts who aren’t doing so can.
An article in BCIABA clarifies what professional development is considered.
The term “professional development,” is used broadly and can include formal continuing education processes such as conferences, seminars, workshops, or a course at a college or university. However, professional development can also occur in various informal social contexts such as discussions among work colleagues, meetings among peers focused on a shared need or topic, mentoring, or observations of a colleague’s work. Another vital form of professional development is engagement in independent reading/study of current research. Furthermore, one can also expand this literature base by conducting applied research.
Consistently engaging in professional development is essential for a career in applied behavior analysis. Unfortunately, most analysts struggle to find time for this in their busy appointment schedules. If only you could cash in all those idle or annoying delays in your day and engage in some professional development while on your daily commute, waiting for that late client to arrive, or sitting in long lines at the DMV or doctor’s office.
By downloading podcasts such as these five, you actually can have valuable professional development resources at your fingertips for occasions such as these.
- The Behavioral Observations
- ABA Inside Track
- Behavior B*tches
- The Autism Helper
- The Controversial Exchange
1. The Behavioral Observation Podcast
For a true continuing education experience on the go, tune into The Behavioral Observations Podcast. You can find and listen to the podcast through iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, YouTube, and more. Even Amazon Alexa will play it for you as you chase the kids around the house or complete your daily chores. Go for a walk in nature or sit on the back porch with a glass of your favorite while listening and learning all about the world of ABA.
The Behavioral Observations Podcast was created by applied behavior analysts, for applied behavior analysis (ABA). In each session, host Matt Cicoria invites a different expert from the field to discuss a new topic. From pharmacology to public policy, to advice on starting your own practice, this series offers insight and guidance at the highest level of quality.
Adventure to their website, where they offer even more than the podcast does. They have offer free resources, tips, unique ways to earn continuing education credits, and even have merch for fans to purchase. Or follow them on Instagram and Facebook where they create posts and stories to keep you learning even when you’re just browsing social media.
If you decide you’re absolutely loving the Behavioral Observations podcast, you can support them by donating a small amount per month and gain various members-only benefits.
2. ABA Inside Track
When it comes to staying current in the field, ABA Inside Track will be your new favorite resource. Host Robert Parry-Cruwys, Diana Parry-Cruwys, and Jackie MacDonald invite leading researchers and practitioners in applied behavioral analysis to discuss the hottest topics in the field. When you want to learn about ABA, you want to hear about it from the experts–and that’s what these folks are. They know a thing or two, or three or more, about applied behavior analysis.
Not only is this podcast both informative and entertaining, but it also provides certified continuing education units simply by listening to the podcast and then go to their store where you can purchase one CEU per episode! This is an excellent way for busy behavior analysts to supplement both the CEUs and the knowledge gained at conferences and training.
Listen to ABA Inside Track through Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or straight from their website. Enjoy episodes such as Providing ABA Services in a Global Pandemic, Autism at College, Transitioning to Adulthood, Supervision Series, Ethics in Social Media, and much, much more. You can find just about anything you are looking for within their list of available podcasts.
3. Behavior B*tches
Image Credit / Instagram
Hopefully, you aren’t offended by their name–if so, you can move on to the next recommended podcast. These gals are real, raw, and relatable. When you’re listening to them, it’s almost as if you are just hanging out with your coworkers or friends casually discussing behavior topics. And not all of their topics relate to children, autism, or the classroom. They reach out to other fields and individuals who utilize ABA strategies. Find them on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify.
Liat Sacks & Casey McDaniel of Behavior B*tches are both behavior analysts who break down everyday, real-life behavior topics that people want to hear about. They have just surpassed their 100th episode, so there are sure to be a few that you’ll enjoy and get something out of. A few of their popular episode include Domestic Violence: Using ABA to Help the Victims and Perpetrator, ABA and Sports, Playing Nice in the Sandbox, and The Dark Side of Social Media.
Subscribe to their podcast and be a loyal listener and follow them on Instagram and Facebook as well! Their social media pages offer followers a wealth of knowledge, free resources, ideas for problem-solving, and touch on real issues that affect us daily as analysts.
4. The Autism Helper
The Autism Helper Podcast not only has over 150 educational and entertaining podcasts available for you to dive into, but they offer a variety of online courses, which are created by Sasha Long, a BCBA, M.A., and the founder of The Autism Helper.
Whether you are a teacher in an ASD classroom, have a child of your own who has ASD, or you are an ABA student learning about the topics of autism and behavior, this is the place for you.
They offer podcasts, videos, and blogs on various subject areas related to autism, behavior, and education. You can even sign up to have Sasha come speak at your school, clinic, organization, or event about a particular topic.
Check out The Autism Helper Professional Development Membership, which provides ongoing training, resources, and support to help create the best educational outcomes for learners with autism.
The Controversial Exchange
One benefit of listening to podcasts is that it is a convenient and enjoyable way to refresh your mind on everything you learned in your education and training. Another benefit is the door it opens to everything no one ever told you during your education and training. In each episode, The Controversial Exchange exposes and analyses the topics that leaders in the field are still arguing over and trying to understand. It provides advice for tackling the challenges of being part of this field.
The goal of hosts Ryan O’Donnell and Dimitri Makridis, who both have a Master’s degree in ABA, is to have tough conversations surrounding human behavior–and they’ve been doing this successfully since 2018. They have the heart, the educational background, and the entertainment value to ensure your time is well spent with them. If you’re going to take time to download and listen to a podcast, you want to make sure that who you’re listening to are experts in their field…and these two are.
You can listen to them via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, YouTube, Spotify, and more. And by visiting their website, you can do other things such as watch an episode, buy merch, obtain BCBA continuing education units, and subscribe to their newsletter. Follow these awesome guys on Instagram or Facebook to keep up with their wonderful content.
Conclusion to Great Podcasts for Applied Behavior Analysts
Tuning into a set of podcasts such as these five is an easy and entertaining way to get in on the ground level of applied behavior analysis. They allow you to refresh foundational knowledge and make new discoveries about the state of the field and the direction you want to grow in your career. In today’s busy lifestyle, professional podcasts provide continuing education on the go, turning dead time and long waits into your own private professional development sessions.
There are podcasts choices out there for everyone, no matter your personality, needs, and interests. Browse through these five ABA podcasts and see which one fits the best. One great thing about podcasts is that you can save episodes to listen to later; look through their schedule and mix and match different episodes from each of these podcasts to get a variety of information and content.
Listening to podcasts is truly an efficient and fun way to grow professionally and gain knowledge, while earn continuing education units if need be.
Master of Education (M.Ed.) | Northeastern State University
Behavior and Learning Disorders | Georgia State University
Updated September 2021