Hack #2 Focus on Unrestricted Hours from DAY 1

Did you know you can complete 100% of your fieldwork experience hours as unrestricted tasks. “Why would that be?” you ask. Let me tell you!

a guide to mastering unrestricted hours in ABA Supervision

Why do I need Unrestricted Hours?

As a board-certified behavior analyst you are a consultant. You will complete assessments of individuals/organizations and problem solve individual tasks as well as corporate systems. You will write programs to produce behavior change for socially relevant skills both large and small. You will train parents, other therapist, teachers, classroom aids, facility administrators, managers, and even CEOs. You will help individuals and organizations set attainable goals, task analyze/ assess the steps necessary to reach those goals, provide systems of reinforcement to motivate action towards those goals and celebrate along side when they are reached! And I’m only just getting started.

All of those things are “unrestricted hours”. So looking at it from this point of view, it makes sense that you practice more “unrestricted hours” than anything else during your supervised experience hours.

How do I start my Unrestricted Hours?

“But how do I do that from day one when I’m just learning what I’m doing?” Good question! The majority of what you will end up doing as a highly trained professional board-certified behavior analyst will be modifications of what you do on day one, day two, day three of your supervised fieldwork experience. All of it should look very different by the time you finish your hours and sit for your exam. But everybody has to get started somewhere.

So, from day one, focus on practicing unrestricted hours. It’s important to have a clear understanding of what unrestricted hours are and how they differ from restricted hours.

Restricted hours are those tasks that require the direct supervision of a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA). These tasks are typically the more complex behavior change programs or assessments. While unrestricted hours are tasks that do not require the direct supervision of a BCBA, but still fall within the scope of practice of behavior analysis.

Categories of Unrestricted Hours

To maximize your unrestricted hours, it’s important to have a clear plan in place. You should start by identifying the tasks that fall under the unrestricted hours category. This could include things like conducting preference assessments, collecting data, designing programs, and providing feedback to caregivers.

Outside of the traditional ABA Autism setting, Unrestricted Hours looks like assessing why billing is not entered by the close of day, assessing how we can improve the parking situation at the office, or even self-assessing why I spend so much time on social media. Once you identify a “problem”- something that can be improved with ABA strategies and techniques- your Unrestricted Hours continue with designing programs to address the challenges you identified. Of course, you will need to develop data systems (what to collect, how to track/collect it, how to analyze it) which will also gain you more Unrestricted Hours. And perhaps, you might even train others to implement or prompt you to complete the programs you design, so training them and overseeing their implementation are also…,yes, you got it…more Unrestricted Hours!

For a deep dive into finding and mastering Unrestricted Hours, especially if you are NOT in a traditional ABA Autism setting, or if you are an RBT and need to learn to think like a Consultant, Register for our next Free Masterclass: 3 Hours to Mastering Unrestricted Hours.

Make a Plan to Capture Your Hours

Once you have identified these tasks, you should work with your supervisor to create a plan to maximize your unrestricted hours. This could involve creating a schedule that allows you to spend more time on these tasks, or working with your supervisor to identify opportunities to practice these skills in real-world settings. Your supervisor can also help you learn how to “ABA Everything” using the 7 dimensions of ABA.

It’s also important to note that the quality of your unrestricted hours is just as important as the quantity. As you practice these skills, you should be seeking feedback from your supervisor and constantly working to improve your performance. This will not only help you to become a better behavior analyst but will also help you to meet the requirements for certification.

In conclusion, if you want to become a highly skilled and effective behavior analyst, it’s important to focus on unrestricted hours from day one. By identifying these tasks, creating a plan to maximize your practice time, seeking feedback, and seeking out additional training opportunities, you can build a strong foundation of skills that will serve you well throughout your career.

Take a look at this article that gives some amazing examples of unrestricted activities.

Plus 1 Solutions

At Plus 1 Solutions we individualize our ABA supervision experience based on your learning preferences with a focus on maximizing your Unrestricted Hours. Be sure to sign up for our Masterclass on Unrestricted Hours or schedule your free initial consultation to see if we are a good fit for you. To see what others are saying, check out our testimonials.

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