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Parent Info

Parents and professionals need to make informed decisions about treatment options.  As your child’s primary advocate, it will be helpful if you familiarize yourself with some ABA lingo (terms), as well as know your rights and responsibilities.  Here are Frequently Asked Questions that can guide you through the process of collecting information and choosing your service provider. 

Applied Behaviour Analysis is an evidence based systematic approach using scientific methodology to influence socially significant behaviour.  It is the applied use of behavioural principles of learning to everyday situations with the goal of increasing or decreasing targeted behaviours by identifying the variables responsible in the environment.

Defining characteristics of ABA;

  • Focuses on socially significant behaviour

  • Uses procedures based on principles of behaviour

  • Emphasizes on analyzing environmental events that relate to the behaviour

  • Provides specific behaviour planning

  • Plans are implemented by people in the natural environment

  • Measurement is used to document behaviour change

A Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analyst is an undergraduate level certification in Applied Behaviour Analysis. The BCaBC is supervised by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, BCBA and can supervise Registered Behaviour Technicians, who implement behaviour-analytic interventions.

BCaBA involvement may include:

  • Supervision provided by a registered BCBA (Board Certified Behaviour Analyst).

  • Review of your child’s past assessments and personal history

  • Consultation and collaboration with staff, family and other professionals involved

  • Informal and formal observation of your child, environmental parameters, contextual variables

  • Training sessions

  • Ongoing monitoring and evaluation, progress reviews, clinical notes and data collection  

The BACB is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) corporation established to meet professional credentialing needs identified by Behavior Analysts, governments, and consumers of behavior analysis services. The mission of the BACB is to protect consumers of behavior analysis services worldwide by systematically establishing, promoting, and disseminating professional standards. The BACB has established uniform content, standards, and criteria for the credentialing process that are designed to meet:

• The legal standards established through state, national, and case law;

• The accepted standards for certification programs; and

• The “best practice” and ethical standards of the behavior analysis profession.

The BACB®, Board Certified Behavior Analyst®  is a graduate-level certification in behavior analysis. Professionals who are certified at the BCBA level are independent practitioners who provide behavior-analytic services. In addition, BCBAs supervise the work of Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts, Registered Behavior Technicians, and others who implement behavior-analytic interventions.

The Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst®, BCaBA® is an undergraduate-level certification in behavior analysis. Professionals who are certified at the BCaBA level may not practice independently, but must be supervised by someone certified at the BCBA/BCBA-D level. In addition, BCaBAs can supervise the work of Registered Behavior Technicians, and others who implement behavior-analytic interventions.

Copyright © 1998-2019 the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc., (BACB), ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Retrieved from:

The BCaBA will meet with you to determine your child’s needs and your family goals.  She may ask questions about your child’s background, school, daycare and other settings. Becoming familiar with all members of the family will provide context of domains that require development.  Some time might be spent “pairing” and getting to know your child’s strengths and interests.  The parents and BCaBA will discuss informed consent as well as service options.   *see services link She may ask you to begin data collection of skills or target behaviour and/or complete a preference assessment of your child’s favorite activities and interests.  The next step will be completing an Assessment and developing an Intervention plan.  She will guide you along each step and provide direct training for the goals that were defined. 


A Risk-Benefit Analysis will be completed with all Intervention Plans.  A risk-benefit analysis is a deliberate evaluation of the potential risks (e.g., limitations, side effects, costs) and benefits (e.g., treatment outcomes, efficiency, savings) associated with a given intervention. A risk-benefit analysis should conclude with a course of action associated with greater benefits than risks.

A study by Bearss, Johnson, and Smith (2015) found that parent training is more effective than parent education. In this study, they defined parent training as providing parents with training on behavior management strategies to help reduce disruptive behaviors in their child. Parent education, on the other hand, was defined as simply providing parents with information about autism spectrum disorder without specific behavior management strategies.

Based on these findings, The BCaBA recognize the importance individualizing their services in ABA parent training by providing parents with information on behavioral principles but also help parents to apply these principles with their child.

Training of parents and other caregivers usually involves a systematic, individualized curriculum on the basics of ABA. It is common for treatment plans to include several objective and measurable goals for parents and other caregivers. Training emphasizes skills development and support so that caregivers become competent in implementing treatment protocols across critical environments. Training usually involves an individualized behavioral assessment, a case formulation, modeling and demonstrations of the skill, and practice with in vivo support for each specific skill. Ongoing activities involve supervision and coaching during implementation, problem solving as issues arise, and support for implementation of strategies in new environments to ensure optimal gains and promote generalization and maintenance of therapeutic changes.

Copyright © 2014 by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc. (“BACB”), all rights reserved.

As the primary caregiver, you are the key component to influence positive outcomes for your child. 


Consultation and collaboration with other professionals helps ensure client progress through efforts to coordinate care and ensure consistency including during transition periods and discharge. Treatment goals are most likely to be achieved when there is a shared understanding and coordination among all healthcare providers and professionals. One example involves a consistent approach across professionals from different disciplines in how behaviors are managed across environments and settings. Professional collaboration that leads to consistency will produce the best outcomes for the client and their families.


A description of roles and responsibilities of all providers, the client and family members and effective dates for behavioral objectives should be specified.

2.03 Consultation.  Behavior analysts arrange for appropriate consultations and referrals based principally on the best interests of their clients, with appropriate consent, and subject to other relevant considerations, including applicable law and contractual obligations.

4.02 Involving Clients in Planning and Consent. Behavior analysts involve the client in the planning of and consent for behavior-change programs

4.04 Approving Behavior-Change Programs. Behavior analysts must obtain the client’s written approval of the behavior-change program before implementation or making significant modifications (e.g., change in goals, use of new procedures).

“Copyright © 2014 by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board,® Inc. (“BACB®”), all rights reserved retrieved from;

Confidentiality will be maintained in compliance with The Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behaviour Analysts, (BACB, March 2019)

2.06 Maintaining Confidentiality.

(a) Behavior analysts have a primary obligation and take reasonable precautions to protect the confidentiality of those with whom they work or consult, recognizing that confidentiality may be established by law, organizational rules, or professional or scientific relationships.


(b) Behavior analysts discuss confidentiality at the outset of the relationship and thereafter as new circumstances may warrant.

 (c) In order to minimize intrusions on privacy, behavior analysts include only information relevant to the purpose for which the communication is made in written, oral, and electronic reports, consultations, and other avenues.

(d) Behavior analysts discuss confidential information obtained in clinical or consulting relationships, or evaluative data concerning clients, students, research participants, supervisees, and employees, only for appropriate scientific or professional purposes and only with persons clearly concerned with such matters.

(e) Behavior analysts must not share or create situations likely to result in the sharing of any identifying information (written, photographic, or video) about current clients and supervisees within social media contexts.

Behavior Analyst Certification Board. (2014). Professional and ethical compliance code for behavior analysts. Littleton, CO: Author.

*Client has right to withdraw consent or involvement at any time, without judgement, however the BCaBA will discuss with you the risks of terminating services without appropriate supports. 

2.05 Rights and Prerogatives of Clients.

 (a) The rights of the client are paramount and behavior analysts support clients’ legal rights and prerogatives.

(d) Clients and supervisees must be informed of their rights and about procedures to lodge complaints about professional practices of behavior analysts with the employer, appropriate authorities, and the BACB.

Behavior Analyst Certification Board. (2014). Professional and ethical compliance code for behavior analysts. Littleton, CO: Author.

“It is a Behaviour Analysts ethical responsibility to promote effective learning environments rather than teach individuals with disabilities to tolerate ineffective ones.” (Winett & Winkler, 1972)

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