Why aren’t you getting enough unrestricted hours? I ask this over and over and over again when students come with questions about remote ABA fieldwork supervision. The answers boil down to three things. 1. I don’t work with individuals with autism in my job. 2. I don’t have anyone to assess. 3. I don’t have any clients. This article will do a deep dive into these myths and bust them wide open so that you can gain more unrestricted hours!

Myth Busters:  Unrestricted Hours

3 myths to getting Unrestricted hours

Unrestricted Hours Myth #1:

I don’t work with individuals with autism in my job: One potential barrier to obtaining unrestricted hours in ABA fieldwork is if a Trainee does not work with individuals with autism in their job. While ABA is commonly associated with autism treatment, it can also be used to address a range of other behavioral issues in individuals of all ages and abilities. So the new question might be “Do you work with anyone who would benefit from improved behavior?” We don’t use the principles of ABA to fix a “diagnosis”. We can use the principles, learning strategies and techniques, and science of ABA to improve a variety of “symptoms”. Diagnoses are typically a list of symptoms that have occurred over a period of time. So if we can break each diagnosis down into the manageable/identifiable behaviors, then the strategies of ABA can be applied to each of those behaviors to bring improvement. Here is the good news! Are a teacher in a regular education classroom. You can use ABA there. Maybe you are a nurse in a hospital, you can use ABA there too! Maybe you are an office manager in a dental practice, yes! What about my Girl Scout troop? YES! My Service Organization? YES! My Sorority? YES! My HOA?? YES!!! You can use ABA here also! Anybody with a list of “symptoms”, or list of behaviors can benefit from ABA. Don’t let the absence of an autism diagnosis stop you from accruing Unrestricted Hours!

Unrestricted Hours Myth #2.

I don’t have anyone to assess: Another potential barrier to obtaining unrestricted hours in ABA fieldwork is if an individual does not have anyone to assess. A key component of ABA fieldwork is conducting behavioral assessments to identify target behaviors and develop treatment plans. If an individual is unable to identify clients or individuals to assess, they may not be able to accrue the necessary hours towards BCBA certification. Let’s take a look at what it means to “assess” in ABA.

What is an FBA?

A Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) is a type of assessment that is used to identify the function or purpose of a behavior, in order to develop an effective intervention plan. The main difference between an FBA and other assessment types is that an FBA is specifically focused on understanding the function of the behavior, rather than simply describing the behavior itself or diagnosing a particular disorder. For example, while a diagnostic assessment may be used to determine whether an individual has autism spectrum disorder, an FBA would focus on identifying the underlying reasons why a specific behavior, such as self-injurious behavior, is occurring.

FBAs typically involve direct observation of the individual in their natural environment and the collection of data on the antecedents, behaviors, and consequences surrounding the behavior in question. This information is then used to identify the environmental factors that are maintaining the behavior and develop an intervention plan that targets those factors to reduce the occurrence of the behavior. The goal of an FBA is to create a behavior intervention plan that is tailored to the individual’s specific needs and is effective in reducing problem behaviors while increasing positive behaviors.

Who does Assessment Benefit?

Assessment in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) can benefit a wide range of individuals who may have behavioral challenges, including those with developmental disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy. Additionally, individuals with behavioral issues related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions can also benefit from an ABA assessment. Furthermore, ABA can be used to improve the behavior of typically developing individuals who may be struggling with problem behaviors, such as aggression, self-injury, or substance abuse or who want to improve behaviors such as safety in the workplace, health/nutrition, and relationships. Finally, ABA assessments can also be useful for organizations and communities seeking to improve organizational behavior, sports performance, and other areas where behavior plays a significant role. Anyone (individual, group or organization) who wants to do something better, more efficiently, or faster may benefit from an assessment based on ABA science and technology. Don’t let this Myth limit your access to Unrestricted Hours any more!

Unrestricted Hours Myth #3:

I don’t have any clients: A lack of clients can also be a barrier to obtaining unrestricted hours in ABA fieldwork. Without clients, a Trainee may not have the opportunity to implement ABA interventions and collect data on their effectiveness, which is a critical component of the BCBA certification process. Let’s see who the behavior analyst certification board says it is a “client”. The glossary of the behavior analyst certification board handbook for behavior analyst defines a client as :

“The direct recipient of behavior-analytic services. Other individuals impacted by behavior-analytic services (e.g., parent, caregiver, relative, legally authorized representative, employer) may meet the definition of client when they receive direct training or consultation. In some contexts, the client might be a group of individuals (e.g., with organizational behavior management services).”  Board Certified Behavior Analyst® Handbook, pg. 61. Also consider yourself as a “client”. Task List 5, item G-20 addresses “Using Self-Management Strategies” as a Behavior Change Procedure. Determine how you personally can benefit from the science and technologies of ABA through assessment, then design programs and implement them for yourself. Collect your data, analyze it, determine progress, tweak your program and repeat. All Unrestricted Hours on your client called “Self”.

The potential applications of ABA are broad and diverse, making it a valuable tool for individuals, organizations, and communities seeking to achieve positive behavior change. Maybe you don’t work with children (yet). If you currently have a job, the OBM applications of ABA can help you learn the foundational principles of Applied Behavior Analysis and the 7 dimensions in your current job.

Here is a brief explanation of OBM

Organizational behavior management is applying the principles of ABA to systems or the workplace to improve productivity, efficiency, and overall organizational performance. For example, OBM can be used to increase employee productivity by identifying and reinforcing behaviors that lead to increased performance, such as meeting deadlines, providing excellent customer service, or completing tasks accurately. Do you know anyone who needs to complete tasks accurately?

OBM can also be used to reduce problem behaviors in the workplace, such as absenteeism, tardiness, or safety violations. By identifying the function of the behavior and implementing interventions that address the underlying causes, OBM can effectively reduce these problem behaviors and improve overall workplace safety and productivity.

In addition, OBM can be used to improve communication, teamwork, and leadership within organizations of all sizes. By analyzing the behaviors of managers and employees and providing feedback and for desired behaviors, OBM can help create a positive and productive work environment.

Unrestricted Hours Myths Busted!

This article identified and destroyed three common myths that appear to be barriers to obtaining unrestricted hours, especially in non-traditional, non-autism based ABA fieldwork settings. Armed with information and strategies, head into work on Monday and maximize your unrestricted hours!

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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