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The Hood Magazine

Understanding Behavior Analysis

Oct 19, 2013 06:18PM ● By Anonymous

By Amber Bruns, MS, BCBA and Ryan Groeneweg, EdS, BCBA

What is a behavior analyst?

 A behavior analyst or BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) holds a minimum of a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) or related human services field, has completed supervised fieldwork and has taken a national board certification exam.


What does a behavior analyst do?

 A behavior analyst may do any of the following:


  • Works with individuals (children and/or adults) who have difficulty learning new skills and/or display problem behaviors.
  • Conduct observations to determine why the problems are occurring and help to develop a plan to increase appropriate skills and/or decrease problem behaviors.
  • May work directly with an individual or work on training staff, educators, and parents that care for the individual.
  • Can work in schools, homes, daycares, group homes, residential facilities, businesses or basically anywhere that behavior happens and behavior is everywhere!


Why would I want to use a behavior analyst?

 Behavior analysts are trained to determine why behaviors happen and are trained to determine treatment based on that information. Treatments often include simple changes in teaching strategies, changes in an individual’s surroundings, finding ways to motivate individuals to improve performance and/or behavior, or sometimes it is simply providing training for those who care for the individual.


When would I use a behavior analyst?

 Behavior analysts could be utilized for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to the following: behavior problems, difficulties learning in school, toilet training difficulties, difficulties with bedtime routines, providing training for daycare or school staff, providing support for families in homes, etc. The list could go on and on.


How do I access a behavior analyst?

 The certification board for behavior analysts ( has a list of area behavior analysts that are certified with an option to email them asking for more information. There are area agencies that do provide behavior analyst services, one of which is the Southwest West Central Service Cooperative (SWWC). SWWC provides behavior analysis services for daycares and schools to address staff training, behavior problems, and/or academic difficulties.  Visit for more information.