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Finding Quality Supervision for BCBA BCBA

Finding Quality Supervision for BCBA BCBA

How to Find the Supervisor that is Right for You: 

Finding a supervisor that is the right fit for you can be challenging. You may have questions such as, “How will supervision be structured? Does my job offer supervision? How long will it take? Will this supervision prepare me for the test and the ABA world?”

There are a few questions to ask yourself when searching for the right supervisor. 

Does my current job offer supervision?

  • If you are working in an ABA clinic, your job might include supervision as a part of your benefits. If they do, make sure you ask the right questions about supervision to ensure you are getting quality supervision.
  • If you are working for the school system, you may not have access to a supervisor. In this case, you may need to search for a local or remote supervisor.

Remote or in person-supervision?

  • Remote supervision is a convenient way to obtain supervision hours while working in your current job. 
  • Remote supervision includes videos, weekly video calls, and sharing documents.
  • In-person supervision can be great if you can find a local supervision near you. Here is where to search for local supervision: BACB Supervision Search
  • Check out this link if you are interested in remote supervision to see if I have openings and to see if we are a good match: Remote Supervision

How will supervision be structured?

  • The supervision structure is determined by your supervisor. Ultimately, they can choose how to set up meetings and work through concepts. I recommend establishing goals each month to stay on track and ensure you are getting the most out of your supervision.
  • Here is a sample of goals you and your supervisor could write together:

 

Month Topic Goal Met Theory Practice
1 ABA overview; 7 dimensions; 6 attitudes of science; ABC data

Assignments: ABC data collection, pairing protocol, preference assessment

 

The Student will understand the foundational knowledge of ABA to begin to apply these concepts to the clinic/school setting.
2 Functions of behavior: Assignments: FBA, ABC data continued, QAFB, measurement, data recording, what problem behaviors to consider?

 

 

The student will identify the functions of behavior based on ABC data collection and determine which plans would be appropriate to track in a behavior intervention plan.

 

 

 

Now, let’s talk about quality supervision

Here are a few things that define quality supervision:
  • Quality supervision should incorporate applied experiences, task list examples, and ethical considerations that prepare you to pass the test and prepare for the field.
  • This supervision should include goals, expectations, and clear guidelines
  • You should have the opportunity to practice behavior analytic procedures
  • Your supervisor should provide you with unrestricted tasks that fill your unrestricted hour requirement. These include podcasts, assignments, research articles, etc.
  • I highly recommend study prep included in your supervision so you don’t have to cram!
  • Here are some topics that are not limited to but should absolutely be included in supervision:
    • BIP writing
    • VBMAPP assessment
    • Graphing
    • Writing evaluations 
    • FBA practice (ABC data collection, QAFB, FAST etc.)
    • Parent training information 
    • Writing reauthorization reports
    • Protocols (potty training, token economy system etc)
    • Intake process 
    • Ethics
    • Test prep!!!

I wrote this blog to help others find the applied experience they need in order to be successful BCBA/BCaBA’s in the future and pass the test in order to get there!  I wish someone would have guided me through the process. Email me with questions!

Katherine Kellogg, M.Ed., BCBA

Katherine@ReadySetABA.com

Dive Into ABA Terminology With These Free Downloadable Flashcards

Dive Into ABA Terminology With These Free Downloadable Flashcards

While studying for the BCBA exam, I found it extremely helpful to write my own flashcards. I thought to myself, “if only I had pre-made cards that had the term I needed to know, I could still get the practice of reading and writing my own definitions.” So, here you go! I want to go over how to get the most out of these flashcards by considering fluency and terminology grouping.

Fluency

As you know, the BCBA exam is timed, so the faster you are able to identify the ABA terminology, the more likely you are to get the question correct.  Moving quickly through the flashcards, and increasing your response time will increase your pace. After you write all of the terms and feel confident in their definitions, you should mix them up. Running through the cards mixed will give you a shorter latency, and build fluency!

Terminology Grouping

One benefit to these flashcards is that all of the terms are categorized by related concepts, specifically by Cooper chapters. Studying the terms grouped by chapter will allow your brain to make the connection between concepts. Also, writing down the definitions in this order (rather than alphabetical) will keep you organized as you continue on your studying journey.

I found it extremely helpful to conceptually group the terms I was studying. After you finish writing all of the cards, then you can mix them up for a bigger challenge. Remember, the test is not categorized by terminology or chapter. The test will randomize all concepts, so to get the most out of these flashcards make sure you mix up all concepts so your brain gets used to switching around!

Study Tip

One study tip I like to share: Instead of focusing on how the terms are different from one another, try to discover their relationship. I realized ABA terms are all related in a giant web. Yes, some terms are different from one another, but conceptually they have more relations. Once I realized this the second time studying, concepts began to stick and I was able to apply the terms fluently.

How to use

  1. Print out the flashcards.
  2. Use a paper cutter (or scissors) to cut the flashcards. Keep them grouped by page! I recommend cutting them out as you go to help stay organized.
  3. Start at the beginning, which will start you on Cooper chapter 1.
  4. After you complete the flashcards, run through them in order several times.
  5. Once you feel comfortable with all of the concepts, mix and shuffle them to build fluency.
  6. Carry the flashcards with you and run through the flashcards any chance you get!

I hope you find this free tool useful in your studies! I recommend pairing these flashcards with Cooper readings when finding the definitions. I also recommend utilizing these flashcards with our course and 30 or 60-day study plan. In this study plan, you are given the Cooper page numbers that are associated with each task list and a clear study guide to follow.

All of the terms you need to study for the exam are downloadable here.

Reach out if you have any questions!

katherine@readysetaba.com

-Katherine

Supervision Hours: Whats the Difference Between Unrestricted & Restricted Activities

Supervision Hours: Whats the Difference Between Unrestricted & Restricted Activities

What’s the difference between unrestricted and restricted experience hours for BCBA and BCaBA supervision?

Before beginning supervision, it is important to understand the nature of supervision including the difference between unrestricted, and restricted experience hours.  It can be tricky to understand until you relate it to your applied setting. This post will give you an overview of experience hours and provide examples of unrestricted and restricted activities. I wish I had this type of breakdown when I began! I hope this helps.

What are unrestricted activities?

Unrestricted activities are those that resemble what a BCBA does on a day to day basis. These unrestricted activities include a variety of tasks such as conducting assessments such as the VB-MAPP, FA, preference assessments, also meeting with clients and families about behavior-analytic progress. Also, these activities include data graphing, analysis, and writing behavior intervention plans. Research is also key to ensuring all BCBA/BCaBA’s are staying current with the literature.

What are restricted activities?

Restricted hours are the delivery of direct therapy and instruction procedures with clients. Basically, anytime you are with your client directly and are not participating in analyzing data, meeting with clients, conducting assessments, or researching literature.

How much of each do I need?

At least 50% of total supervision experience hours must be unrestricted activities. There is no limit to unrestricted activities, technically, you could have all 100% if you wanted to but that would take you a while! There are no minimum restricted hours, however, no more than 50% can be restricted or direct therapy hours.

Click here for our quick guide to supervision.

What are acceptable activities for experience standards?

Unrestricted activities:

At least 50% of total experience hours must be composed of the following unrestricted activities. There is no limit to unrestricted activities.

  • Conducting assessments related to ABA (preference, FA)
  • Design, implement, systematically monitor skill-acquisition and behavior reduction programs
  • Writing behavior treatment plans, progress summaries, clinical notes, transition summaries
  • Oversee the implementation of behavior-analytic programs by others
  • Training others
  • Communicating with caregivers and other professionals
  • Attending planning meetings, researching literature that is relevant to current client’s programs

Restricted activities:

No more than 50% of total experience hours can be restricted

  • Direct therapy/working directly with clients

How does this apply to my current setting?

School:

In the school setting, there are many opportunities to gain unrestricted hours under the direction of your BCBA supervisor. Here are a few ideas for gaining unrestricted hours in the classroom setting:

  • Observation and data collection on problem behavior
  • Composing a behavior intervention plan with ABA principles for a specific student
  • Conduct a preference assessment for a student and take data, graph and analyze
  • Graph behavior data and analyze
  • Research literature for problem behaviors you are seeing from students in your classroom
  • Train paraprofessionals on ABA strategies, treatment plans, and oversee these programs being implemented
  • Write transition summaries related to ABA
  • Meet with parents and train on specific ABA topics

Home:

If you work in an in-home setting as an ABA therapist, here is a list of unrestricted activities that you could participate in to gain the indirect hours all under the direction of your BCBA supervisor.

  • Train parents and caregivers on specific ABA intervention
  • Conduct FBA or parent and caregiver interviews to evaluate the function
  • Observe the caregiver implementing a strategy and record data, graph and analyze
  • Write clinical notes, treatment plans, or progress summaries
  • Research literature related to home-based services specific to your client’s behaviors
  • Graph behavior data, and analyze trends
  • Compose and/or edit behavior intervention plans with your BCBA

Clinic:

There are numerous ways to gain unrestricted hours if you work in a clinic setting. From my experience, the clinical setting provided me with the most options for unrestricted activities. Here is a list of unrestricted activities to do in the clinical setting:

  • Create task analyses, preference assessments, behavior tracking sheets, or other data collection sheets for acquisition targets
  • Conduct a preference assessment
  • Assist in the implementation of the VB-MAPP
  • Conduct an FBA with caregivers, other therapists, and analyze the hypothesized function
  • Train new hires on ABA principles
  • Research literature related to specific clients
  • Meet with parents, caregivers, and teachers and train on behavior-analytic programs
  • Assist with progress reports, reauthorization reports, and treatment plans
  • Observe other staff members implementing specific ABA interventions and provide feedback

How do I track supervision?

The BACB provides an excel experience tracking form that you will utilize to help track unrestricted/restricted activities. I would also recommend watching the 30-minute video on how to track supervision before beginning.

Feel free to reach out with any questions!

katherine@readysetaba.com

-Katherine

The 3 Types of Supervision: What Type is Right For You?

The 3 Types of Supervision: What Type is Right For You?

Deciding which type of supervision can be puzzling, until you learn what the difference between the three is. I decided to give a short description of each type of supervision, as well as the pros and cons so you can do your own evaluation by the end of this blog post. Hope this helps you narrow down the type of supervision that is right for you!

What are the types of supervision?

There are three options of supervision for pursuing your BCBA or BCaBA:

  1. Supervised Independent Fieldwork
  2. Practicum
  3. Intensive Practicum.

1. What is Supervised Independent Fieldwork?

Supervised Independent fieldwork is the most common supervision that requires 1500 experience hours required to qualify for applying for the BCBA exam, and 1000 hours to qualify for the BCaBA exam. This type of supervision is done with an experience setting and is the most common. One benefit to supervised independent fieldwork is you often can find a work placement that offers supervision, so you can get paid for restricted hours. The only downside to this type of supervision is it takes the longest. Sometimes, taking longer can work out better if it corresponds with your school program. You can also take this time to study for the exam!

What are some experience settings?

Well, if you have a BCBA available in your area, you may be looking at a clinic or home setting for ABA. If you are a behavioral aid in the school system, you may have a BCBA in your district that is willing to meet with you for supervision.  All of these experience settings would allow you to successfully complete your supervision, with an available BCBA who is willing to supervise you. 

If you are working in a school district, or at a clinic that has limited supervisor availability, it might be beneficial to contract a BCBA in your area, look at remote supervision, or look at practicum options.

2. What is Practicum?

The second type of fieldwork is Practicum which requires 1000 experience hours and requires more supervision (7.5% of all hours supervised instead of 5%) along with more contacts. Practicum is always through an accredited university approved by the BACB.  Practicum has benefits, as it allows you to move quickly through supervision, although it requires a more intensive approach. Depending on availability, it can be difficult to find practicum placements. Benefits to practicum include being able to finish your hours sooner, and guaranteed hours.  

I had experience teaching practicum and found the supervision to be very effective. All of the supervisee’s hours were remote. Our practicum was structured to include an hour of group sessions per week, which was a great way to collaborate on task list concepts and experience setting scenarios.

3. What is Intensive Practicum?

Lastly, the third option is intensive practicum which is similar to regular practicum but requires 8 contacts per supervisory period, 750 hours, and 10% of all hours must be supervised. This is the most intensive and is offered through universities approved by the BACB. Though a benefit can be finishing hours sooner, the intensive practicum may be difficult to juggle if you are also working on your coursework simultaneously.  

What is available?

Depending on what is available to you in your current area, depends on the type of supervision to select. If you do not have a supervisor in your area and are looking for remote supervision, we provide online supervision.

Our online supervision encompasses an individualized track that will give you the opportunity to develop the skills required to become a BCBA/BCaBA. This includes detailed concept reviews, practice with designing and implementing behavior analysis programs for clients, in-depth discussion about current ethical considerations.  Including test preparation in our supervision sets us apart from others. If you are looking for in-person supervision, you can search qualified supervisors on the BACB website.

Conclusion

Overall, I successfully completed my supervised independent fieldwork and felt that the 1500 hours gave me the time I needed to fully complete my Master’s program, along with gain the clinical experience needed. Taking the full two years to finish my independent fieldwork also gave me plenty of time to study and prepare for the exam. It worked for me!

Feel free to comment below your input, and email me with questions!

Katherine@readysetaba.com