Day in the Life of a BCBA image


Day in the Life of a BCBA

February 16, 2022

By ABA Psychological Services

What is a BCBA?

A Day in the Life of An Insurance Based Board Certified Behavior Analyst in Long Island, NY

Many applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapists who work with clients with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities may consider becoming a BCBA to advance their career or expand their practice. What they may not know is that, the workday of direct provider of services differs significantly from the workday of a BCBA.

What is a BCBA?
A Board Certified Behavior Analyst holds an official certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) that allows them to practice Applied Behavior Analysis in their area of expertise, supervise others in the implementation of behavior analytic procedures, and disseminate information regarding behavior analysis. To receive BCBA certification, an individual must complete hours of fieldwork and research and take an exam through the BACB.

What Does a Board Certified Behavior Analyst Do?
• Provide training on ABA concepts and strategies that are relevant to the client.
• Provide direct supervision of ABA therapists with practice and feedback to improve the implementation of interventions.
• Assess clients using age-appropriate initial assessment tools (VBMAPP, AFLS, etc.).
• Create individualized goals for clients and families based on assessment, client input, and familial input.
• Make changes to programming during every supervision session to ensure goals are being monitored and achieved in an appropriate amount of time.
• Meet frequently with caregivers to provide support, resources, and strategies to aid in the client’s goals.
• Work collaboratively with teachers, psychologists, and other professionals involved in the care of the client.
• Create visual materials for families, clients, and ABA therapists to use both in and out of session.
• Provide a written request for services for each authorization period determined by the insurance company of the client.
• Remain up to date on recent scientific research regarding ABA strategies.

The Average Day for a BCBA
The average day for a BCBA is never monotonous. BCBAs regularly organize and schedule several supervisions, and parent meetings to uphold the best care for their clients. Every BCBA is required by the BACB to provide supervision for at least 10 percent of each ABA therapist’s work with their clients per month, as well as to meet with caregivers at least 1-2 times monthly. Many BCBAs work odd hours, such as weekends or holidays, to best accommodate clients and their families.

How Many Hours Does a BCBA work?
The average BCBA is responsible for about 200 provider hours. This means, that on average, a full time BCBA in Long Island, NY will be expected to provide supervision 20 hours a week. The rest of the workweek is divided into time for meeting with caregivers, collaborating with professionals ,and indirect services such as creating materials, report writing, interpreting client data, or research.

Work/Life Balance
With so many responsibilities as a supervising BCBA, it can become difficult to remain productive at work while maintaining a personal life. A frequently changing schedule combined with rather large gaps in the workday can quickly escalate to burnout. To prevent this, BCBAs will commonly keep a strict start and end time to their workday to make time for their private lives. The only way for a BCBA to provide the best services to their clients is for them to be healthy both physically and mentally.

In Conclusion
Although the average workday for a BCBA can be demanding, working closely with a client and their family is an extremely rewarding experience. As an ABA therapist, one can see small steps in progress of the individual they are working with, but as a BCBA, one can see growth in the client, ABA therapists, caregivers, and professionals involved in the client’s case. It may take a lot of patience and openness, but becoming a professional BCBA is one of the most rewarding and eye-opening experiences a person can take part in.

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