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What Does an ABA Therapist Do?

A female ABA therapist working with her male client by playing with blocks

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientifically-validated intervention to support individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) based on decades of research and endorsed by leading health agencies. The goal of ABA is to teach new skills and to improve socially significant behaviors while decreasing behaviors that might interfere with independent functioning or behaviors that pose a safety risk. 

What Does ABA Therapy Look Like?

ABA therapists, also known as Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs), work one on one with our clients using behavior analysis techniques with the support and supervision from our Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). They employ techniques such as positive reinforcement, prompting, and shaping to teach and increase positive behaviors while reducing challenging ones. These sessions often incorporate various activities, including games, role-playing, and exercises tailored to the client's needs and goals.

What Does an ABA Therapist Do?

Our RBTs play the most important role in implementing ABA therapy and supporting our clients. Each day unfolds a unique set of challenges and triumphs, but every moment is dedicated to empowering each child to reach their full potential, fostering meaningful connections, and enhancing their overall quality of life. Here are some key responsibilities of our ABA therapists:

  1. Implementing Treatment Plans: RBTs work one-on-one with clients to implement their individualized treatment plans that are designed by our BCBAs. Depending on each client’s goals, various techniques can be used to teach new skills. A lot of the time, this looks like play! ABA sessions are led by the daily routines, skills, and interests of the child. Our therapists will help guide play, but the child chooses and leads the activities. This way, our therapists can reinforce learning in a way that meets the child’s individual needs. Whether it's an emphasis on Natural Environment Teaching (a play-based teaching method) or more discrete learning opportunities, our focus is on individualizing not just what is taught but also how skills are taught to the needs of each client in our care.

  2. Collecting Data: Collecting data is a fundamental part of the ABA therapist’s role. RBTs systematically record information about the client’s behaviors, responses to interventions, and progress towards goals. This data-driven approach enables our BCBAs to make informed decisions and adjust interventions as needed.

  3. Collaboration: Each client has a team of RBTs that is led by the client’s BCBA. ABA therapists work closely within their client’s team to ensure consistency and maximize the child’s progress. 

  4. Modifying Interventions: Based on the data collected, ABA therapists collaborate with their BCBAs who adjust interventions when needed. Under the supervision of their BCBA, they may implement modified teaching strategies, reinforcement schedules, or environmental arrangements to better meet the needs of their clients. 

  5. Generalization and Maintenance: Our ABA therapy aims to not only change behaviors within the therapy setting, but also to promote generalization of skills to real-life situations to ensure clients maintain their newly learned skills. 

Our ABA therapists play a central role in supporting our clients so that each client will not only maintain, but thrive in becoming the best version of themselves. They won't ignore what makes each client uniquely them by utilizing their interests and strengths to build strong bonds with their clients. Our RBTs are deeply committed to extending compassion to the clients they care for like prioritizing their emotional well being before implementing programming. And lastly, our ABA therapists respect the needs, desires, and voices of the clients they serve and strive to teach them they are a unique individual, capable of making choices for themselves.

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