Behavior Matters by Tera Ester

Behavior Matters FAQ

What is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)?

A BCBA is a trained professional who has earned Bachelor and Master’s degree but with an emphasis on the science of human behavior. After earning a Master’s degree, the individual takes a certification exam and must attain a certain score to pass and become certified. A BCBA seeks to understand behavior as an adaptive response (or way of handling certain situations) and suggests ways of modifying such responses to make a socially significant change in the person’s behavior and quality of life. A BCBA typically begins with a Functional Behavior Assessment in order to examine a situation to identify problematic behavior and develop a positive replacement behavior. With input from parents, families, teachers and other natural and paid supports, the BCBA is better able to figure out what is maintaining a particular behavior, in order to determine and teach more appropriate replacement. BCBA’s may also develop a detailed plan for their client to help them learn a new behavior or improve a skill deficit. At times, BCBA’s treat the client directly and other times may train significant others within the client’s life on how to best address certain behaviors (i.e. teachers, family members, etc.).

What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

Applied Behavior Analysis is the science of human behavior and uses a method of treatment based on the idea that some of the most significant human behavior is learned over time and that it is maintained by consequences within the environment. It is based on the belief that behavior that is reinforced is more likely to occur again in the future and behavior that is not rewarded or ignored is less likely to occur again.

Behavior Matters FAQ

The Applied in “A”BA refers to the application of the principles of behavior and procedures of the scientific study of behavior to improve behavior to a significant and life changing degree.

The Behavior in A”B”A refers to the assessment and treatment of objectively and operationally defined behaviors of social significance.

The Analysis in AB”A” refers to the application of the scientific method to show that the improvement in behavior is a result of the procedures used to change the behaviors. Once these procedures have proven to be effective, than they can be disseminated to improve the behavior of others.

In essence, ABA is a scientific discipline that is dedicated to understanding and enhancing human behavior (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007).

Do Board Certified Behavior Analysts ONLY work with kids with Autism?

No, a BCBA specializes in the science of human behavior and work in a multitude of environments and fields with a variety of people and animals. ABA therapy has been researched and documented as an effective service provided to those with Autism. ABA has been shown to be effective in a variety of settings with various people, including but not limited to adolescents, adults, and individuals with special needs other than Autism and nuero-typical (typically developing) children.

What is a Stepfamily Coach?

A Stepfamily Coach is someone who has been trained by the founder of the Stepfamily Foundation, Dr. Jeannette Lofas on her methodology, or system, of how to address the problems most often faced within a stepfamily. Dr. Lofas has conducted research on the stepfamily and identified numerous differences between a stepfamily and a biological/first/original family. Her method and approach is from a business-like model and focuses on: who comes first in the stepfamily, discipline of the children and setting expectations, strengthening the relationship between the couple, the conflict of loyalties, etiquettes and/or manners within the stepfamily home, the prior spouse, custody/visitation arrangements, feeling like a stranger or outcast in your own home, etc. The stepfamily coach will take a couple/family-centered approach in order to address the stepfamily as a whole but especially in the best interest of the children.