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What is ABA?

Information from NYSED

As per Erin Dowd, Education Credentials Specialist II, NYSED Applied Behavior Analysis Board office (personal communication, June 10, 2020),  “Subpart 79-17.2 (http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/aba/subpart79-17.htm#79172) defines full-time experience as at least 20 hours per week and part-time experience as at least 10 hours per week but no more than 19 hours per week, which must be distributed over at least two days per week. The regulations also require that supervision occurs weekly and includes at least 2 hours per week of face-to-face individual supervision, but does not make a distinction between full and part-time experience. The Department has interpreted this requirement to apply to full-time experience and has prorated the requirement to be 1 hour per week of face-to-face individual supervision for part-time experience. In all cases, no more than 3 hours of supervision may be considered part of the weekly experience hours.

For more information about the Laws, Rules, and Regulations pertaining to the Practice of Behavior Analysis in NYS, please see the NYSED, Office of Professions, ABA website

Frequently asked questions

What is Applied Behavior Analysis?


Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the application of the science of human behavior to improving the human condition. ABA is a well-developed and distinct discipline, with a strong foundation in research; scientific journals, conferences, and associations dedicated to the discipline; established standards for practice and distinct methods of service; and recognized experience and educational requirements for practice. The practice of ABA involves the experimental analysis of behavior to enhance the abilities and well-being of children and adults in many settings and contexts, including human services, education, business, medicine, and rehabilitation. ABA has been prominent in the delivery of effective services to people with disabilities and in addressing historical concerns for the ethical treatment of people with disabilities.
There are several key assumptions inherent in ABA. First, behavior can be studied scientifically; ABA relies on demonstrable principles of behavior with a focus on observable behavior. Second, human behavior is lawful, in that it is related to its antecedents (events which occur before behavior) and consequences (events which occur after behavior). Third, behavior is a function of both genetics and environment, with environment including a person’s social situation and present events, personal history, and physical health or abilities. The fourth assumption is that it is necessary to rely on objective data to evaluate the effects of clinical practice on a continuous basis. Data-based decisions regarding interventions are a hallmark feature of ABA.




What does a Behavior Analyst do?


Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the application of the science of human behavior to improving the human condition. ABA is a well-developed and distinct discipline, with a strong foundation in research; scientific journals, conferences, and associations dedicated to the discipline; established standards for practice and distinct methods of service; and recognized experience and educational requirements for practice. The practice of ABA involves the experimental analysis of behavior to enhance the abilities and well-being of children and adults in many settings and contexts, including human services, education, business, medicine, and rehabilitation. ABA has been prominent in the delivery of effective services to people with disabilities and in addressing historical concerns for the ethical treatment of people with disabilities.Behavior Analysts function as individual clinicians or are employed by organizations in numerous fields. These include education, behavioral medicine, mental health, geriatrics, disability, children’s services, business, and institutions of higher learning. Behavior Analysts often supervise associates or other personnel in the implementation of intervention services, or consult to other personnel. Behavior Analysts possess a wide range of knowledge about human behavior, and demonstrate competence in helping people meet personal goals, organizations meet systems change goals, and society meet important social goals (e.g., increasing the use of seatbelts). Typically, Behavior Analysts define intervention so that the changes to be achieved are measurable; analyze personal, social, and environmental conditions to better understand the variables that are influencing behavior; recommend and develop the goals of behavior change; implement agreed-upon solutions; and monitor progress. At this time in New York State, the delivery of ABA is limited to individuals with autism or related disorders, under a prescription or order for ABA from a licensed professional who is eligible to make such a prescription or order. The practice of ABA in other states and other countries is generally not restricted to a specific disorder, but rather restricted to the application of the science based on a person’s experience and training in the science. The research literature supports a very broad application of the skill set of Behavior Analysts, specifically in any situations in which humans behave. There is an extensive body of research dating back several decades and continuing through today that demonstrates that ABA is effective in supporting positive changes in individuals, organizations, and society at large with and without a variety of disabilities.




What are the criteria for becoming a Behavior Analyst?


In New York State, the practice of ABA is conducted by those who have been designated by the state of New York as a Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA) or a Certified Behavior Analyst Assistant (CBAA). ABA may also be practiced by non-licensed people under specific conditions (e.g., in an exempt setting, as a student in a university-based experience, or with a state-issued limited permit). Licensure is granted upon demonstration of specific educational and experience requirements, as well as a passing score on two licensing exams.




Who can use the title, Behavior Analyst, or say they are practicing ABA?


Only LBAs or CBAAs may call themselves a Behavior Analyst in New York. Only LBAs and CBAAs may say they are practicing Behavior Analyst in New York.




What other credentials may a Behavior Analyst have?


At this time, most and possibly all LBAs and CBAAs in New York State are also credentialed by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), which is an organization that has certified Behavior Analysts worldwide since 1998. This is because initially all BCBAs and CBAAs were grandfathered in to receive their license or certification in New York by only applying. The New York State designations of LBA and CBAA for behavior analysts are newer than the BACB designations of Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctoral (BCBA-D), and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA). The criteria for the LBA and CBAA are similar to, but not the same as, the criteria for the BCBA and the BCaBA, respectively.




Where can I find more information about credentialling and licensure for Behavior Analysts?


Click here for more information about New York State Licensure and here for additional resources on BACB credentialing.





 
 

NYSABA

The New York State Association for Behavior Analysis Inc. (NYSABA) is the state chapter of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), an international organization devoted to the study of the experimental analysis of behavior and an affiliate of the Association for Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA), an organization committed to promote and advance the science-based practice of applied behavior analysis.

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