The journey to starting ABA therapy can be full of many different key players. From the pediatrician to the diagnostician and everyone in-between it can be hard to keep up with what exactly each person does. During ABA therapy there are a few different key players that will play crucial part of your child’s team.

So, let’s start at the beginning with the BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst). This is the case manager or supervisor of your child’s therapy. The BCBA is a Masters or Doctorate level therapist who has had 1500 hours of additional supervision beyond their degree and passed a certification test to become a BCBA. The BCBA will conduct your child’s first assessment, write a treatment plan and provide on-going support and oversight to your child’s therapy. Think of the BCBA as a consultant that comes in and checks on the team and progress, but typically doesn’t provide 1:1 therapy.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board recommends that BCBAs provide supervision for at least 10% of your child’s total therapy hours. This means that you should plan to see your BCBA on a regular schedule of once a week or once every two weeks for the most traditional therapy schedules. Of course, each child’s needs are different, so your child’s needs may vary from this recommendation.

In addition to case supervision your BCBA is also the provider of parent training. If the idea of parent training seems overwhelming don’t worry! This type of parent training will be fully customized to what you want to work on and focus on passing on the great skills that your child has learned in therapy to you!

So, if BCBAs are only seen weekly, who will see my child each day? RBTs (Registered Behavior Technicians) and Behavior Therapists typically provide the daily 1:1 therapy for your child. What’s the difference between the two? RBTs are certified through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board after receiving 40-hours of direct training and passing a certification test. RBTs are becoming more and more the gold-standard for direct therapy staff, but we still occasionally have Behavior Therapists. These individuals have received on-the-job training and typically have had direct experience providing therapy. As a parent it is important to understand the distinction between RBTs and Behavior Therapists and ask smart questions to your potential ABA provider to ensure you have the strongest team for you child!

Questions we love to hear:

  1. What are your qualifications for hiring behavior therapists?
  2. Do your behavior therapists have an RBT credential?
  3. What does the on-going training look like for your behavior therapists?

We love to hear these questions because they allow us to share with you the amazing people that will be working with your child each day. Trust us- they are super humans!

Two other players you may see on your child’s team are the BCaBA (Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst) and the Clinical Director.

BCaBAs are Bachelors level behavior analysts that are certified to support BCBAs with their caseload. These individuals have also undergone 1000 hours of supervision beyond their Bachelor’s degree and passed a certification test. The BCaBA does not replace the BCBA, but can be great asset to support the BCBA is completing day-to-day activities such as developing treatment plans.

During your time in ABA you may also run into a player called the Clinical Director (or a version of that title). Clinical Directors are experienced BCBAs that provide support, training, and oversight to the entire team (BCBAs, BCaBAs, and RBTs) and ensure that your child is receiving high-quality ABA therapy.

Do we have you confused yet? We know starting ABA can be so overwhelming. You have so many questions and pieces of important information to share, but it can be confusing to figure out who is the right person to direct your question. Use this graphic to keep track of the key players on your child’s ABA team!

As always, we are here to help! Call us today to schedule an intake and startcharting a new course against autism.