Today is World Behavior Analysis Day!!
It is the first of many annual celebrations to come! For those of you in the know about behavior analysis then you will join with me today in celebrating a science that is dedicated to helping others by improving their quality of life. Many of you may be working in the field of behavior analysis or studying in the field. Behavior Analysis is a realm of science that studies human learning and behavior.
Although behavior analysis is most often associated with supporting individuals with autism it is actually a much broader field and can help us live our every day lives better.
Behavior analysts might work in:
Health & Wellness
Behavior analysts work to change behavior. This could be the behavior of a consumer or to incentivize someone at IBM or if could be to increase compliance with taking medication in a nursing home.
Behavior analysts may assist with everyday behaviors with plans for toilet training, improving eating and even sleep. Here is a sample graph showing number of hours before a full wakening.
Behavior analysts do provide services to students with behavioral disorders and students with autism in particular. They use ABA techniques such as positive reinforcement, shaping, prompt fading and task analysis. They also collect data during sessions to evaluate behaviors and monitor progress. It has been shown that applied behavior analysis provides us with evidence-based interventions for individuals with autism.
Behavior analysis is a science and it is focused on the science of learning and behavior change. It can be a very reinforcing career path. You are able to change behavior and improve the quality of an individual with autism and their family or maybe you are interested in working in a hospital setting conducting research on childhood obesity? No matter what your interest, if you are interested in the science of behavior then this may be a career path for you.
Students can complete a Master in Applied Behavior Analysis or an advanced certificate program and go on to complete requirements for certification (BACB.com) and licensure in their state.
Students can come into the program with a degree in psychology, behavior analysis or education/special education or they can be career changers who want to study the science of behavior.
I serve as the Director of Hofstra University's advanced certificate program in ABA- https://www.hofstra.edu/academics/colleges/soeahs/sped/applied-behavior-analysis-advanced-certificate.html and I enjoy supporting students who are working to become behavior analysts.
I look forward to many more celebrations of behavior analysis in the years to come! It is a field I have loved working in and will continue to wake up everyday knowing that I will be able to help someone to have a better quality of life.