What is Autism?
Autism is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder affecting how individuals communicate and make sense of their social world. Autism affects approximately 1 in 200 individuals in Canada, making it the most common neurological disorder. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurological disorder resulting in developmental disability affecting individuals in the following areas:
- Communication and language
- Behaviour, activities, interest and play
The term "spectrum" refers to a continuum of severity or developmental impairment. Children and adults with ASD's usually have particular communication and social deficits in common, but individual differences occur within the following conditions:
- Number and certain kinds of symptoms
- Severity - mild to severe
- Age of onset
- Levels of functioning
- Challenges with social interactions
What is Applied Behavior Analysis or "ABA"?
Behavior analysis is a natural science approach to understanding observable behavior. ABA is the use of behavior analytic methods and research findings to change socially important behaviors in meaningful ways.
Behavior analytic procedures are used to strengthen existing skills and build those skills that need to be developed in the individual's repertoire. It involves breaking down skills into its component parts.
ABA programming for learners with autism and other developmental disabilities combines many research-validated methods into a comprehensive but highly individualized curriculum.
Effective ABA programming blends discrete-trial procedures with a variety of other ABA methods, including child-initiated instruction, task analysis and chaining to teach skills involving sequences of actions or steps, and natural environment teaching.
Discrete trial teaching involves presenting a series of trials to the learner, each consisting of a specific cue or instruction from the adult, an opportunity for the learner to respond, and a consequence is delivered by the adult based on the learner's response. Prompting procedures are used to initiate a connection between the task and the response.
ABA provides the best methods for managing problem behavior such as self-injurious, ritualistic, repetitive, aggressive and disruptive behavior through teaching alternative positive behaviors through functional behavior assessment and behavior support techniques.
ABA uses several techniques and principles such as reinforcement, prompting, prompt fading, extinction, shaping, chaining, generalization, visual support strategies and many other to teach the critical skills necessary to achieve independence.
What is Board Certification?
The Behavior Analyst Certification Board Inc. is a non-profit corporation established in 1998 as an awareness for credentialing needs were voiced by behaviour analysts, state governments and consumers of behaviour analysis services. The BACB's mission is to develop, promote and implement international certification program for behaviour analyst practitioners. Currently, the BACB provides professional credentials to BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) and BCABA (Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst). BCBA certificants must have doctoral or master's level education while individuals with BCABA certificate must have bachelor's level education. All BCABAs must practice under the qualified supervision of a BCBA.
Ramen Saggu, the Director of Pacific ABA Academy is BCBA and all Program Managers or Supervisors are currently completing the requirements to prepare for the BCBA or BCABA certification examination. Please refer to www.bacb.com for more information.
What is a BCBA-D, BCBA, OR BCABA?
Board Certified Behavior Analysts & Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts, BCBA & BCABA, are individuals who:
- Are independent practitioners who work as employees or subcontractors for an organization.
- Must belong to a professional association for continued professional development in the area of Applied Behaviour Analysis.
- Conduct descriptive assessments, functional analysis, and behavioral assessments.
- Provide consultation and implement effective teaching techniques and behavior management programs in public or private settings.
- Have passed the national examination in Applied Behavior Analysis in addition to completing the intensive practicum and internship hours under another qualified BCBA that are necessary to meet the requirements.
- Have completed required university courses and training in the techniques of ABA, Doctoral level for BCBA-D, Master's level for BCBA, and Bachelor's level for BCABA.
- BCBAs supervise the work of Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts and others who implement behavior analytic interventions.
- Educate others to create and implement ethical and effective behavior analytic interventions based on published scientific research and delivers instruction in behavior analysis.
Please refer to bacb.com for complete requirements for becoming BCBA-D, BCBA, or BCABA. It is now required that the BCABA practice under the supervision of a BCBA-D or BCBA.
Supervision of BCBA & BCABA Applicants at Pacific ABA Academy
Pacific ABA Academy is an approved practicum site for Nova Southeastern University in Florida, the University of North Texas, UBC, and other affiliates. All applicants seeking supervision must refer to bacb.com for complete requirements for becoming BCBA or BCABA. For students who have begun their coursework required to meet the BACB coursework requirements, Pacific ABA Academy can provide the Supervised Independent Fieldwork.
Pacific ABA Academy is also an approved practicum site for Douglas College students who are pursuing their certificate to become behaviour interventionists.