28 Mar ABA Insights: Why I am Seeking to Become a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst
My start in Applied Behavior Analysis
I began my journey in ABA and a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT)in 2017 at a behavioral clinic in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina shortly after graduating from college. At the time, I knew little about ABA but I was excited to work in a field related to my newly acquired psychology degree. I instantly fell in love with the job and found tremendous joy in spending my day with extraordinary individuals. There was a strong sense of community working alongside other people who had a genuine desire to teach, learn, and make a difference.
Taking the next step
During my first year as an RBT, I felt like I had learned a lot about autism spectrum disorder, behavior interventions, and how to teach new skills, and made amazing connections with the children and families I was serving. I was incredibly satisfied with my job, but I knew there was more. One of my supervising BCBAs would share research articles with me related to our clients’ programs and I became fascinated with the science behind ABA. After talking with my supervisor more about her role and responsibilities as a behavior analyst, becoming one myself became my next priority.
Studentship with CCABA
After moving back to the Charlotte area in 2019, I started working for CCABA and was thrilled to learn about their student program. I’ve had wonderful supervisors who offered support and guidance through countless growth opportunities. Research integration is one of the main things that interested me in becoming a BCBA. Early on, I was able to take a deep dive into Relational Frame Theory (RFT), which is a foundational concept behind a popular assessment called PEAK. Throughout the process, I worked closely with my student supervisor to ensure I was comprehending the information and could competently apply the concepts to a potential client.
Preferred programming initiatives, meaning that interventions are designed based on the preferences of our clients, became another profound interest of mine. Again, I was guided by my supervisors and taught how to measure relevant variables and ensure I was programming ethically and effectively. Each topic I became interested in was an opportunity to learn and apply, which has been one of the most helpful and exciting pieces of my journey toward certification.
Bridging the gap
Now that I have completed my graduate coursework requirements, certification is the last step in reaching my goal. Experience with oversite is the final stage of my journey and I could not be more thankful for this “bridge” over the gap between RBT and BCBA roles. I adore working with my clients face-to-face every day, but I also love making a difference. I want to help. I want there to be an ABA team that can provide high-quality services for every family, caregiver, individual who needs one. Becoming a BCBA means that I still get to spend my days with incredible individuals and the community I love to serve is one step closer to having better access to high-quality care.
By: Lacey Trigg, MA, RBT