Skip to main content

An ABA therapist is someone who is specially trained in ABA techniques. An ABA therapist can further their training and become credentialed as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT ®). ABA therapists can work with clients of all ages and typically work with children diagnosed with or other developmental disabilities. ABA therapist’s and RBT’s are overseen by Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and through the direction of the BCBA the therapist implements programming designed to teach skills such as communication, independent living skills and coping strategies among many others.


ABA therapists can work in a variety of settings, such as ABA centers, schools, residential facilities, homes, and hospitals.


As you learn more about ABA therapy, you may have questions about what an ABA therapist does. For example, what is the role of an ABA therapist? How does ABA help children? What is the difference between a behavior therapist and an ABA therapist? What skills does ABA therapy teach?


What Is the Role of an ABA Therapist?

The role of an is to implement skill acquisition programming and behavior support plans that are designed by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®). .


An ABA therapist creates a safe environment for individuals to participate in learning-based activities and develop communication skills that lead to a more independent future. As a facilitator of enjoyable learning, an ABA therapist is crucial to the success of the individuals that they are working with.


As a learner reaches new goals, an ABA therapist will work collaboratively with the learners behavior analyst to review progress and identify what does and does not work for the learner so the behavior analyst can make meaningful changes.


How Does ABA Help Children?

While ABA therapy can be helpful for people diagnosed with autism at any age, ABA therapy is particularly encouraged for children as young as two. Ideally, ABA therapists and professionals will apply practical strategies to help children develop skills that are relevant and important to them and their unique needs and desires.


ABA therapy can help with everyday life skills, communication skills, interfering behaviors, and much more. When meeting with a professional, you can discuss your child’s concerns and needs and tailor specific goals that will benefit your child and your family instead of enrolling in a pre-tailored program that may or may not address your particular needs. .


What Is the Difference Between an ABA Therapist and BCBA?

ABA therapists are often referred to within the umbrella of behavior therapists. While there are several types of behavior therapists, an ABA therapist typically works with children and utilizes the theories and practices of ABA therapy with their patients.


BCBA or Board-Certified Behavior Analyst is an ABA therapist who has undergone further education and passed the BCBA exam. A BCBA has their master’s degree in behavior analysis and conducts 2000 hours of supervised fieldwork. A BCBA will typically evaluate clients and oversee the ABA therapists working under them to ensure clients are making progress.


What Skills Does ABA Therapy Teach?

ABA therapy seeks to address whatever unique needs the client may be seeking help with, whether that’s communication skills, social skills, play, self-care, and other life skills.


For example, a client may need assistance learning how to use a spoon during meals; in this case, an ABA therapist would divide the process of eating cereal or soup into small steps, model the actions, and allow the patient to mirror the actions. To make the learning process more enjoyable, an ABA therapist might provide food options the learner particularly likes to make the activity more motivating.





ABA therapists are specifically trained in the techniques of ABA therapy.


The role of an ABA therapist is to facilitate enjoyable learning in small steps to encourage the learner to develop various practical skills. An ABA therapist can help children learn develop communication skills, and more, all in an enjoyable and positive environment.


  • 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.

    View all posts