Training at Alternative Behavior Strategies, Inc

From Joe Dixon

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In the month of August, we were fortunate enough to partner with the University of West Florida in Pensacola, Florida to provide the BACB approved coursework to our employees. The course work is a series of four courses for the BCaBA certification and 6 courses for the BCBA certification and is being taught by Joe Dixon, our clinical director. Throughout these courses 7 of our employees have the opportunity to study the theories and principles behind Applied Behavior Analysis and are learning how to implement the techniques and tailor said techniques to the individual clients with whom they work.

In the BCaBA coursework, our staff will be focusing on the foundational knowledge needed in order to sit for and pass the BACB exam and become fully certified as a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst. The course sequence starts with the history of ABA, the fundamental and basic principles that guide the application of the science in the field, and understanding the relationship behind the environment and the individual. The second course helps the students to look at outcomes, interventions and how to assess the function of behaviors. This way they can know what techniques to use and how to reduce problem behavior to more socially acceptable levels and teach the necessary replacement skills to help the child access more environments and reinforcers. The subsequent courses look at research methodology, measurement techniques and positive behavior change. Those who have enrolled in the course work are excelling and becoming great analytic thinkers. The BCBA coursework adds two more classes (a total of 6) to go deeper into positive behavior change techniques, research and measurement designs as well as a course on ethics. Some students are pursuing a Masters degree for which the certification courses are a component.

In addition to the coursework, each individual who is seeking to sit for the exam is required to gain 1000 supervised hours for the BCaBA and 1500 supervised hours for the BCBA. Each individual who is enrolled in the coursework gets to work with either Jeff, the executive clinical director, Joe, the clinical director or Maren, our assistant director, in order to receive the supervision they need as they learn and grow in the field.

We are very excited to have partnered with UWF and to help individuals grow in the field of ABA. We felt that was a great way to be able to provide the highest quality of services and help individuals, who love these great kids, reach their goals and dreams of becoming great behavior analysts. We predict that by the end of this year, 2015, the majority of the individuals enrolled in the program will be eligible to sit for the exam.

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