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Over the past 10 years, the number of BCBAs has grown from approximately 2,500 in 2005 to close to 20,000 in 2015.  This growth is partially due to the increase in the availability of certification programs in behavior analysis. Although there is a growing need for behavior analysts, many students have been entering degree programs with little or no experience working in the field of ABA and a limited knowledge of what a behavior analyst actually does. This blog covers one of the bigger topics in ABA: Does experience trump credentials?

As professionals who have supervised and taught in certification programs, our experience has been that the most successful students have a background in ABA and have had the opportunity to demonstrate those principles in the natural environment (for our sake, with kids with autism). Unfortunately, we have witnessed unsuccessful students, and a common denominator is typically jumping into a certification program without truly understanding the roles and responsibilities of a BCBA.

As a behavior analyst, you have the ability to change behavior! We can make a huge difference in the life of a child with autism and their family; this should not be taken lightly. This is why we are dedicated to not hiring or promoting individuals because of their credentials but instead due to their experience and proven ability to be effective at what they do.

Stay tuned for our next blog covering topics in ABA.

Chrissy Barosky M.Ed BCBA, & Danielle Pelz, MS BCBA

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Chrissy Barosky, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LABA (MA, TX, UT), LBA (RI)

Chrissy Barosky, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LABA (MA, TX, UT), LBA (RI), joined Bierman ABA in 2013 as a Behavior Analyst and is now the Chief Clinical Officer. Chrissy has been working in the field of ABA as a practicing Behavior Analyst since 2008, and before that in the field of developmental disabilities since 2005. Prior to working in the center based setting at Bierman ABA Chrissy worked in home based ABA settings, consultation in schools and as a special educator. In addition to overseeing all clinical operations at Bierman ABA, Chrissy is also Adjunct Faculty at Simmons University and Endicott College where she teaches masters level courses on verbal behavior, behavior analytic methodologies and organizational behavior management (OBM). Chrissy obtained her bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University in Human Services, her masters degree from Columbia University in Applied Behavior Analysis and Education, and completed her Doctorate in Behavior Analysis at Simmons University. Chrissy’s research interests are in Verbal Behavior, specifically in early language acquisition and how it ties into joint attention, and staff training and its impact on client outcomes. Chrissy has presented at a variety of local and national conferences including the Association for Behavior Analysis International.