Frequently Asked Questions


What is ABA?
“ABA is the process of systematically applying interventions based upon the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviors to a meaningful degree, and to demonstrate that the interventions employed are responsible for the improvement in behavior.” – Baer, Wolf, and Risley, 1968 ABA is a discipline that utilizes objective data to influence decision-making within an individualized behavior program. Data are collected on a person’s responses to the behavior program to determine if progress is being made or not. If there is no progress made using a particular intervention, then the data are used to re-evaluate and edit the program so that progress will be made.
What is ABA used for?
Almost anything! If it is an observable behavior, there are ABA principles that can be used to increase or decrease that behavior. Behavior analysts work to improve socially significant behaviors. Socially significant behaviors can include (but are not limited to) communication, social skills, academics, gross/fine motor skills, toileting, dressing, self-care skills, work/domestic skills, and eating/feeding skills.
What is the role of the parent or caregiver in an ABA program?
Parents and caregivers are crucial to an individual’s ABA program. They play a key role and are necessary to the success of the program. First, they know the individual best and can provide valuable and insightful information to the behavior analyst. Secondly, parents and caregivers are able to prompt and reinforce behavior throughout the day – a very important component in ensuring the generalization of skills. Finally, parents and caregivers are able to collect data within the home and community settings. This helps determine goal progression and behavioral function (why the behavior occurs).
What is a BCBA?
BCBA stands for Board Certified Behavior Analyst. A BCBA has met all educational and training requirements set forth by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), the national credentialing organization for behavior analysts. BCBA’s are required to have a master’s degree, at least 1,500 practicum hours in the field before applying to sit for the certification exam, and to have completed a BACB approved sequence of university courses. BCBA-D certificants have a doctorate degree, while BCaBA (Board Certified assistant Behavior Analyst) certificants have a bachelor’s degree. BCaBA certificants require supervision by a BCBA-D or a BCBA level practitioner.
What is a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT)?
A Registered Behavior Technician has completed the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s 40-hour RBT training course and has passed the certification exam. These staff members have a minimum of a high school diploma and are trained by BCBA’s on the basic principles of ABA. They continue to work under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst or a Board Certified assistant Behavior Analyst providing direct services to clients and collecting data. The supervising BCBA or BCaBA meets weekly with the RBT’s to review programs and data collection for implementation accuracy, provide additional training, and give feedback on work performance. Many of the RBT’s on staff with Learning Leaps have a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree and are in the process of accumulating their supervised practicum hours so that they can sit for the BCBA certification exam.