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Day in the life of a BCBA

No two days are the same when you’re a BCBA at Bierman Autism Centers! One of the core activities that a BCBA does during a typical day is training and supervising Registered Behavior Technicians or RBTs. At Bierman, BCBAs typically have a caseload of 4-7 kids, and they schedule overlaps with each of their kids and their one-on-one RBTs, in order to make sure their kids are making progress toward their treatment plan goals.

BCBAs at Bierman are responsible for holding caregiver training for parents and guardians. These ensure that the skills we teach in the center generalize to the home and community setting and vice versa, giving parents the tools they need to navigate new situations, teaching them about the principles of ABA, and ensuring that they feel confident carrying over treatment goals at home.

Treatment plans! A treatment plan is a document we create that includes summaries of the child’s strengths and deficits across a variety of domains such as requests (mands), imitation, and joint attention. It also includes specific progress toward their learning objectives so it may say something like “(name) learned to imitate 5 actions with play items when presented by an adult” or “(name) learned to match 8 different identical objects.” It also includes information such as assessment scores, biopsychosocial information, parent involvement and progress on parent training goals, collaboration with other providers such as speech therapists and occupational therapists and charts that demonstrate their progress. Treatment plans are updated at least every 6 months and function as a BCBA’s guide to interventions with the kids they are working with. 

Conducting assessments to determine new treatment plan goals. When running an assessment our goal is to get information about a child’s current strengths and skill deficits in order to tailor our programming to their skill level – setting specific goals based on the individual needs we identify from the assessment. We look at a variety of different skill areas such as requesting skills, play skills, and social skills. We assess things like how many nouns a child knows, how many one step instructions they follow, or how many different toys they play with functionally and for how long! The assessments help us determine what changes need to be made to treatment plan goals and gives benchmarks to determine how much progress we have made in services. 

Data analysis. As a BCBA we love data! We are reviewing charts every 3-5 data points. This helps us to determine if our interventions are working and when we might need to make a change. Reviewing the data prior to going to overlap with behavior technicians can help us determine what we need to focus on in the session to ensure that we change interventions that might not be going well and add in new targets for those that are mastered. All of the data analysis ties back into our treatment plan goals, ensuring kids make the most amount of gains as possible! 

One of the great things I love about Bierman is that they value education and the importance of being uptodate on the latest research and trends. So parts of the days are dedicated to participating in CEU events to learn about new things or brush up on skills like feeding interventions and new potty training research! Bierman even holds internal CEU’s on a variety of topics! 

A big part of every day at Bierman is collaborating with other providers like Speech Language Pathologists and Occupational Therapists at Bierman to work on things like teaching kids to label new actions using their AAC device, expanding the variety of the phrases they use to request preferred items, putting on socks independently, and working on their fine motor skills.

Lastly any day at Bierman may involve having meetings with other staff involved in the kids programming like TPS’ and the Clinical Director. It’s our goal to have cross collaboration and a care continuum for each of our kids. Meetings help ensure we are on progress with everything and can work effectively as a team!