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5 Hallmarks of an Effective Applied Behavior Analyst

Characteristics of an ABA Specialist

  • Good Communicator
  • Organizational Skills
  • ABA Skills
  • Problem Solver
  • Board Certification

An applied behavior analyst is a professional who has a license and both training and education in the ABA field, and the hallmarks of an effective applied behavior analyst including being a good communicator and having strong organizational skills. They typically have a graduate degree, though some have doctoral degrees too. Those interested in studying ABA at these upper levels should consider the characteristics of specialists to make sure that they have those traits.

5. Good Communicator

Anyone who wants to work as an ABA specialist or therapist must be a good communicator. Not only do they need to know how to explain complex topics to their clients, but they’ll also need to work with the families of those clients. Many also use their communication skills as they train assistants and others who will work with their clients. ABA specialists need to know how to address issues through the spoken word and through written communications too.

4. Organizational Skills

ABA therapists can work in schools and for school districts, but they can also work in the homes of their clients and in treatment or research centers. They often work with dozens of clients and their families every week. This will require that they have strong organizational skills. They need to know how to organize their time and how to organize the paperwork that they use during client meetings. Those who spend a lot of time on the road as they drive to clients’ homes will take that paperwork with them from a dedicated office.

3. ABA Skills

The top characteristics for ABA specialists include the skills they use when they assess and evaluate new clients. They are the ones who help clients understand that they way they act may not be appropriate for all situations. The work they do often depends on the ages of their clients. Someone who works with kids might use a reward system that allows the child to play outside or watch cartoons at the end of a session. They help those kids learn how to do basic skills such as brushing their hair or tying their shoes. Kids also learn how to interact with their peers and loved ones through the ABA sessions.

2. Problem Solver

While many ABA specialists work with those diagnosed with autism and those on the autism spectrum, they can also work with others who suffer from related conditions, including attachment disorders and traumatic brain injuries. Those working in this field must know how to solve problems and how to approach problems from different angles. They are the ones who evaluate an individual’s behavior and decide which treatment methods and programs will best address the issues they see.

1. Board Certification

The most important characteristic that all ABA therapists have in common is that they have board certification. According to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, individuals can apply to take the certification exam if they have an advanced degree and some supervised clinical/professional experience. The exam is also open to those who have a doctoral degree or an advanced degree and some teaching experience. Those who take the exam and get their certification can work with clients of different ages and in different settings.

Applied behavior analyst is a field that looks at how professional therapists can help their clients change their thoughts, behaviors, and actions. This type of therapy and support works on those suffering from a variety of conditions and disorders. Some of the hallmarks of an effective applied behavior analyst include having board certification and being a good problem solver.