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5 Internship Ideas for Applied Behavior Analysis Students

ABA Internship Ideas

Internship Ideas for ABA studentsThe internship is the bridge between your education and your dream career as an applied behavior analyst. Finding the right internship is essential to solidifying all you have learned and expanding your professional network. There is more than one purpose to going through an internship program and there is no one-size-fits-all type of program. Each individual searching for an ABA internship should think about their needs, goals, and values before choosing a specific program. 

There are numerous benefits to completing an internship.

The professional experts at Indeed share 10 benefits of doing an internship:

  1. Job experience
  2. Research experience
  3. Access to a variety of tasks and departments
  4. Mentorship
  5. Help guide career goals
  6. Create a professional network
  7. Build a strong resume
  8. Secure good references and recommendations
  9. Transition to a permanent job
  10. Build confidence 

In regards to finding an internship surrounding applied behavior analysis, depending on your education institute or training program, they may have a list of internship sites to choose from or lend recommendations. If you’re currently searching for an ABA internship, you may be able to find great opportunities on job-searching sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, or Monster as well. And it is always good to call around to clinics, institutes, and centers that employ ABA specialists and inquire about any internship roles they might offer. 

There is a high need for applied behavior analysts, therefore it shouldn’t be too difficult to find an internship site; you just need to be proactive, organized, and willing to contact organizations. 

General ABA intern duties and responsibilities

The following duties and responsibilities come from the Lily Center, which “provides Applied Behavior Analysis services to children with Autism and related developmental disabilities and their families in a clinic-based setting with support available on a limited basis for community, home, and school-based settings.” 

This list can be used as an example to understand the basic day-to-day functions of an ABA specialist during their internship.

  • Provide direct client care in 1:1 and group settings utilizing a combination of intensive teaching and natural environment training arrangements.
  • Follow the prescribed behavioral skill acquisition and behavior reduction protocols.
  • Follow and record data for prescribed toilet training protocols.
  • Collect, record, and summarize data on observable client behavior.
  • Conduct parent and caregiver training based upon the client’s individualized treatment and behavior reduction protocols.
  • Effectively communicate with parents and caregivers regarding client progress as instructed by the Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
  • Maintain client confidentiality.
  • Utilize safe and appropriate handling and guidance procedures when working with clients.
  • Maintain a clean, safe, and organized work and therapy environment.
  • Collaborate with treatment team including client, parents and caregivers, outside professionals, Lead Behavioral Technician, ABA Interns, and co-workers.
  • Maintain and acquire technical knowledge by attending required training.
  • Arrives prepared to supervision meetings with completed readings and assignments.
  • Maintains appropriate supervision paperwork and documentation; ProvidesSupervising Behavior Analyst with documents that review revision and signature; Keeps Supervising Behavior Analyst informed of any changes to the supervision agreement, hours, or status.
  • Demonstrates initiative and interest in the field by asking insightful questions and requesting additional training and supervision activities as necessary to develop professional and clinical skills. Maintains a high level of integrity, professional standards, and adheres to the BACB Ethical Guidelines.

 Additional Responsibilities as the candidate progresses through supervision:

  • Provide initial and ongoing staff education and training on client behavioral and skill acquisition protocols.
  • Conduct regular staff skill evaluations.
  • Provide positive and constructive feedback to staff regarding clinical and professional skills regularly.
  • Conduct skill acquisition assessments under the supervision of the Behavior Analyst and ABA Interns; document results accordingly; prepare and explain reports to parents and caregivers.
  • Conduct behavior reduction assessments including informal and formal assessment methods (i.e.: FA’s, FBA’s, parent interviews)
  • Development of individual treatment plans.
  • Weekly programming updates to individual treatment plans.
  • Preparation of training materials for client programs.
  • Present at company and local conferences.
  • Update and maintain data collection systems and disseminate information to team members

Where would you like to complete your internship? 

The following are examples of places that offer internships to newly-trained ABA specialists.

  • Behavior Change Institute
  • Residential Options, Inc.
  • Evergreen Center
  • Marcus Autism Center
  • Behavior Consultation & Psychological Services, PLLC

1. Behavior Change Institute

Behavior Change Institute is a place for ABA students to internship.The Behavior Change Institute (BCI) is committed to changing the field of applied behavioral analysis for the better. They are dedicated to reaching families who need services but struggle to access them by providing online and phone services to families living in remote areas. BCI opens its internship program to only a few students each year to create individualized and comprehensive learning and practice.

BCI’s BCBA Internship Program supports the development of our culture of excellence, accountability, critical thinking, and excitement by modeling essential clinical and supervisory skills,” which include:

  • Accountability
  • Collaboration
  • Problem-Solving
  • Compliance
  • Support and encouragement of others
  • Establishment of trust and credibility
  • Innovation

Contact BCI if you are interested in completing your ABA internship at one of their various nationwide locations. 

2. Residential Options, Inc.

Residential Options Inc is a great place for ABA students to intern.If you are looking for a clinic-based internship experience, you might enjoy working at Residential Options, Inc. (ROI) in Michigan. ROI is committed to helping all individuals with autism, from small children and their families through adults learning how to live independently. Interns enjoy specialized learning and hands-on training opportunities. They complete the program with knowledge and experience about all aspects of the autism spectrum.

ROI, which has been around since the 80s, delivers ABA therapy to children, families, and adults at home and out in the community and provides services in-house at the ROI Learning Center

They are always looking for students to join their internship program. Read about their internship opportunities and apply online. 

3. Evergreen Center

Evergreen Center is a great place for ABA students to intern.The Evergreen Center in Massachusetts is committed to serving a large population with developmental disabilities. Over the years, ABA has become a popular treatment method for a wide variety of conditions, and the Evergreen Center strives to address each of them with the most cutting-edge practices. The Evergreen Center offers both paid and unpaid internships for students recent and graduates at varying levels.

“With over 400 ‘treatments’ available for Autism, it becomes increasingly difficult for consumers to identify treatments that are effective from those that are not. The Evergreen program’s commitment to Applied Behavior Analysis and other evidence-based practices informs all treatments and ensures student progress.”

At Evergreen Center, patients learn through doing, whether that be out in the community, at the school on campus, or while living in their residential units. ABA internships can help guide patients on their path to success while learning new life, communication, social, and vocational skills. 

Contact Evergreen if you think you’d be a match for their amazing environment.

4. Marcus Autism Center 

Marcus Autism Center is a great place to intern for an ABA student.Marcus Autism Center, out of Atlanta, GA, is where the professionals are dedicated to providing state-of-the-art clinical services to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Their intensive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy Services Program provides individualized treatment focused on improving core deficits associated with ASD—social communication and play. While their approach to treatment is heavily rooted in the science of ABA, they utilize developmental and play-based strategies to help make sure children are motivated and engaged while working on treatment goals that are most critical for their continued development.

Marcus offers various training and professional development opportunities such as internships and fellowships. Learn about these openings on their site

5. Behavior Consultation & Psychological Services, PLLC

BCPS is a great place to intern for an ABA student.Located in North Carolina, Behavior Consultation & Psychological Services, PLLC strives to create an individualized treatment plan for every client. They are unique in their focus on partnering with local school districts. They approach their internships very similarly, aiming to provide each student with individualized training and guidance toward achieving their unique career goals. They believe in a hands-on learning environment and foster a collaborative team approach to treatment.

Their approach is to provide evidence-based intervention to address social, communication, behavior, and educational support through programming that is individualized to the needs of each client. They offer a wide range of services, all of which are rooted in a data-driven, research-supported, team approach to care.

Click here to learn more about the internship opportunities that Behavior Consultation & Psychological Services, PLLC offers. 

Conclusion to ABA Internship Ideas

These five internship opportunities all offer quality training for applied behavior analysis students. Whether you hope to gain specialized training or exposure to a wide variety of environments and disorders, one of these opportunities is perfect for you. They all pride themselves on providing the best experiences for both their clients and their interns, helping all of them achieve their goals.

Of course, there are hundreds of other internship sites all across the United States. If you are having trouble locating one you want, contact an ABA therapist or BCBA that you know to find recommendations. The internet also provides a wealth of information related to ABA internship sites by state. 

Be proactive and find the right internship opportunity for you! 

Brittany Cerny

Master of Education (M.Ed.) | Northeastern State University

Behavior and Learning Disorders | Georgia State University

Updated May 2021

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