Tag Archives: Lineage




Reliefmap of Australia
Reliefmap of Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The May 2015 results are up! I hope all is well.

And this reminds me that I should really, really, start posting the tips I hoarded over the past few crops…

I will post as fast as I can…

Here is one, from Dianne, a close friend of mine…

Great stuff, no editing needed…


“Many people have already given tips on how to study or how to prepare for the exam, so I am not going to re-hash that information. I am not going to tell you to read Cooper, I am not going to tell you to BDS modules.


“I didn’t actually study for the exam. The day before the test I reviewed some notes and that is all. I have not read Cooper front to back, and I have not done any prep modules at all. I took the BCaBA exam, and passed, I then took the BCBA exam a few months later and I passed.


“I am very fortunate that I have been in this field for a long time, over 15 years without having taken a single course or class in ABA. I fell into this field as my background is in physical education, curriculum development and physiotherapy. I stumbled into ABA and I fell in love with it. My life is Behaviour Analysis. In Australia there is no requirement to be a BCBA or BCaBA to deliver services, sadly anyone can call himself or herself a behaviour analyst, behaviour therapist or ABA therapist. Hopefully with our new Association for Behaviour Analysis here, we will be able to make a difference.


“To be able to take the exam as I did a Masters degree in Linguistics, I took the Florida Tech classes and they were fantastic.


In my humble opinion, the best preparation for the exam and more importantly becoming a good and well-rounded therapist, interventionist and Behaviour Analyst and then specialist are the people you learn from and surround yourself with.


“So here I am going to give you some tips on what to look for in mentors, supervisors and people that you learn from. These are totally arbitrary and I made them up!


  1. People have strengths in different areas. Have more than one supervisor.
  2. If you have an area of interest find a supervisor who specialises in this area. For me this was RFT, so I found a supervisor who was experienced in that area.
  3. Your supervisor should take baseline data on your skills, give specific feedback, evaluate you again and take data.
  4. Interview your supervisor, they are crucial in developing your skill set.
  5. I know for many people cost is a big factor, but keep in mind that often you get what you pay for.
  6. When I first learned about BA, I was on a ton of mailing lists, lurking. I learned so much from people posting questions. I tried to think of what my answer would be and then read others’ responses. If there was a term I didn’t know or understand I’d look it up.
  7. I cannot stress enough, have more than one supervisor. Someone who specializes in
    1. Discrete Trial Training
    2. Natural Environment Training
    3. PECS or other AAC
    4. Relational Frame Theory (RFT)
    5. Verbal Behaviour
    6. Conducting Functional Analyses and reducing problem behaviour
    7. Organisational Behaviour Management (specifically for BCBAs)
    8. Ethics
    9. Research and data taking
    10. I am sure there are more areas!


“Some sample questions to ask a potential supervisor (I will tailor the questions specifically for people who are looking to gain experience in working with children with special needs)


  1. How long have you been in the field? How long have you been a BCBA?
  2. Why are you in this field? What do you like/love about it?
  3. Which companies have you worked for?
  4. Who was your mentor/supervisor and what have you learned from him/her?
  5. How many people have you supervised?
  6. What is the pass rate for the people that you have supervised?
  7. What are your specific interests?
  8. How many children have you worked with directly and written programs for?
  9. What would you consider your strengths and are there areas you consider yourself weak in?
  10. Do you have a current mentor that could supervise me in the areas that you feel that you are weaker in?
  11. What are your expectations of me as a supervisee?
  12. What is the process of supervision? (This should typically involve base line data, video or observation of direct skills, initially it should also involve behavioural skills training and geared specifically to meet the task list)
  13. Do you use a specific curriculum to train me? If not, how do you set goals and targets for my development?
  14. Can you provide assistance with test preparation and provide mock exams?
  15. How much is your hourly rate and what is included? Can you send me a copy of your supervision agreement for me to have a look at?
  16. Is there anything that I haven’t mentioned that you can offer me?


“Lastly, this field is evolving and passing the exam is just the start, it is a minimum requirement. Don’t be a mediocre Behaviour Analyst, strive to be the best you can be. This includes continuing to learn from peers, people who know more. You can make the world a better place by changing one behaviour at a time but only if you try everything in your power to be the best behaviour analyst you can be.


“I also want to thank my mentors that have guided, helped me and taught me over the years as I wouldn’t be here without them.







Best School: University of Houston, Clear Lake

English: Bayou Building on the campus of the U...
A proud ABA factory: the University of Houston–Clear Lake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been asking people about their ABA schools and if they would recommend their school to anyone who’s interested. Last time we did Ball State… so this time we have our friend, Charity Choplin English back to talk about her school…

“I was asked to post all of the reasons my grad program is the best choice.
And so brag, I shall.

“University of Houston-Clear Lake in Houston, TX, offers amazing staff (well-known researchers who are on the ground-breaking side of research), incredible practica experiences, and plenty of research opportunities for all students. The class sizes are small and graduates from the program are easily employable because the program has such a wonderful reputation.”

So there’s an idea for you… any other schools you want to know about? Let me know and I will find the answer for you.

May the desired consequence be with you!

Episode 8: Matt Brodhead

A partial view of Cache Valley, Utah, with the...
A partial view of Cache Valley, Utah, with the Wellsville mountains in sight. Partially overlooking Logan, Utah and part of downtown as well as the , as seen from Utah State University. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Matt Brodhead

I contacted Matt awhile back when he was about to defend his dissertation… well… now he’s a doctor! He’s in Utah but he’s about to move to IN… he’s a thrill seeker!
We talk business, t-shirts, Jack Michael, ABAI meetup and saving certain industry… one company at a time!
Quick Summary
Success: collaborate with local school district to build preschool and kindergarten classrooms with ABA service to children with Autism
Failure: attitude– ABA or highway… professional relationship at the beginning of the career
Book/article: “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carngie (and before the book question was asked…) and Surprise, Matt did not own the White Book before he got his BCBA, “Free Will” By Sam Harris, “Help at Any Cost” by Maia Szalavitz
Article: Laraway, S., Snycerski, S., Michael, J., & Poling, A. (2003). Motivating operations and terms to describe them: Some further refinements. JABA, 36, 407-413. 4.
Quote: none but check out his bloodline…
Related articles


Scranton, PA, USA, welcome sign formerly displ...
Scranton, PA, USA, welcome sign formerly displayed along I-81 and filmed there for opening credits of US version of The Office. Now on display in Mall at Steamtown food court, where this photograph was taken. Neither text nor font designs are eligible for copyright in US, and this sign is on display in a public place, thus covered by freedom of panorama. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That’s What She Said

Jillian Bair of  Scarnton, PA

“Bds modules and the cooper book quizzes the modules were the biggest help. I also graphed my study times as I went to encourage myself.

“Also any practice exam I could get my hands on. The more questions I could expose my brain to, the better I understood the material.

“I also read bailey & burch and Johnston & pennypacker’s books. I work as a behavior consultant at a private special education school in PA doing descriptive functional assessments and writing behavior plans.

“I love using ABA to help people, and I am excited to explore other ways to use it (organizational management, sales, animal training, etc.) I attended FIT’s online program specifically for my ABA courses and received both my undergrad and graduate degrees from Baptist Bible College & Grad School here in NEPA.”


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Introducing Another Blogger

Napa (Photo credit: katieharbath)

Lindsey Sneed of Napa, CA achieved not one, but TWO big goals last month: She became a BCBA and she started a new blog, The BCBA Mom. Way to go, Lindsey. And yes, she still found time to share her study tips and her story in detail with us.

“Hi Anson! Thanks for starting the group, it was honestly a huge support through studying for the exam. My biggest tip is having multiple modalities to study. I used the BDS modules, FIT guided review, quizlet app, and I did the cooper quizzes. If I did less than 80% on any chapter I would re-read the chapter. My biggest advice to those studying is to become fluent in as much as your brain can possibly handle

“When I started graduate school I had a mentor who I met with weekly. I was expressing to her my discontentment with working at Starbucks while working on my graduate degree but was uncertain what I should do. She advised me to apply to a local company that works with children with Autism. At first I was hesitant, but she was insistent stating she felt it would be a good fit. So low and behold I got the job and quickly fell in love with applied behavior analysis and was very blessed to have a wonderful Behavior Analyst supervising me right off the bat. About two years later I ended up moving to Napa and finished my Master’s degree 9 months later. I immediately registered to begin my BCBA coursework through UMass’s online program, but ended up getting pregnant and had a very challenging pregnancy so was unable to continue the coursework. I’m very glad this happened because I rushed into starting the program and did not research programs I just picked one of the first online programs I found.

“Anyway, 18 months later once I learned to manage my time with having my daughter, Madison, I began really researching programs and was very impressed with Florida Institute of Technology. I started my coursework through FIT in April 2012 while being a Behavior Consultant with a local small agency. The director of the agency had her BCBA and was willing to supervise me, however, I quickly learned she did not have the same philosophical approach as I desired in being a Behavior Analyst. The agency ended up closing down due to the Insurance change here in California (SB 946) as they were not picked up as an insurance provider. This was a good thing for my career and ultimately my skills as a Behavior Analyst.

“In July 2012 I started working for Easter Seals Bay Area as a Program Supervisor (I oversaw the program of children and adolescents with Autism and other developmental disabilities, as well as the staff that provides direct care) and began to be supervised by the best Behavior Analyst I’ve known, Audrey Niblock. Audrey was and continues to help guide my practice as a Behavior Analyst and I know having a wonderful BCBA helped in me being prepared for the BCBA exam.

“A few other ways which helped prepare for the exam was completing the BDS modules 100%, I did the FIT Guided Review (which I highly recommend), I read through the Cooper Book and did the Cooper quizzes and if I scored less than 80% then I would re-read the chapter until I was fluent, and I did SAFMEDS. From December until the day before my test, February 20th, I studied three hours every day. I would explain concepts to my husband and if I could help him understand the concept then I knew I was attaining fluency. Also, the seven days before the test I re-watched all the videos from the FIT Guided Review. The day before the test I rested, which I highly recommend! I felt very prepared for the test and gave myself the full four hours to take to the test with breaks. I felt very confident when I left.

“Finally, on March 19 it was official; I was a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. I was promoted to Clinical Manager at Easter Seals Bay Area and am very excited to officially have my dream job of being a Behavior Analyst. I am still learning (of course) and look forward to all the learning to come!”

Mentor! Practice! Fluency!

Lindsey found herself a great mentor and she put in a huge amount of time to study. Also, she ABA-ed her husband… that’s a good way to show fluency. Great job living ABA, Lindsey!

So Now What?

“my future plans are to conintue to refine my skills as a Behavior Analyst:-) I’m not exactly sure what that means yet, but i know new experiences are coming. Something I began a couple months ago, actually, was writing my own blog on my experiences in the field for the past 8 years. I didn’t launch my blog until i found out i was certified. My first post was on tips to pass the exam and what worked for me. Lastly, next week’s post I’m going more in depth about my study habits over the last 6 months, and I wanted to post about joining your Facebook study group. Would you be okay with me linking your Blog? or the Study group?”

Of course you can, Mrs. Sneed! Thank you for sharing your journey and detailed attack plan with us!

Congratulations, the BCBA Mom!

P.S. I lost a bet to Lindsey, and pay I will. Stay tuned…


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BCBA Study Tips XXXI


Here Comes No. 6 English: The flag of the U.S. State of North D...

Holly Johnson, a Sage girl, has just become the 6th BCBA in the state of North Dakota, dropped for a little piece of advice.


“I failed the first time I took the test back in September. I used the BDS modules 2% the first time and then finished 25% for the second test, focusing on the content areas I did the worst on. I also used the Global Autism Project’s 2-day intensive review. In that they really give you good tactics on how to take the test, how to pace yourself, how to use materials given to you, etc.”

Congratulations to Holly Johnson, BCBA! Thanks for the tips!








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Episode 6: Justin Daigle

Louisiana map
Louisiana map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My first ever Facebook friend, Amy (check out her study tips here on my other blog), hooked me up with a great BCBA in her area. This great find is Justin Daigle.

Listen to his interview! We talked t-shirt, ice cream murder, TWERKING and Duck Dynasty (and how many times did I say “there you go” during the interview?)

Quick Summary:

Success: “Pass on the love of the science” by training students.

Failure: Kids who are “still out there” without meeting their goals because they moved, ended services or other reasons.

Book: “Applied Behavior Analysis“, Cooper, Heron and Heward.
Verbal Behavior“, B.F. Skinner

Article: “Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis”, Baer, Wolf and Risley.

Quote: “Be a constant learner”

Check out his agency

Episode 5: Ann Beirne

Ann Beirne, Clinical Director of Global Autism Project

Listen to her interview

Summary/show notes will come… any volunteers? PLEASE?!

Check out the Global Autism Project website

Join us for a strike-back?Contact me!

Quick Summary

Success: Supporting the success of others.

Failure: Not listening. Drawing a line in the sand. Being sure of something and going in with your own eyes ideas. Having an agenda.

Book/article: “Ethics for Behavior Analysts: 2nd Expanded EditionBailey and Burch
“Toward a functional analysis of self-injury” Brian Iwata

Quote: “It didn’t help me to know all the answers, it helped me ask better questions” (On pursuing the BCBA)
“Parsimony: it’s the law”
“Keep it simple”

Episode 4: Dr. Josh Pritchard

English: A blue bow tie.
English: A blue bow tie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. Josh Pritchard of Florida Institute of Technology

Listen to his interview

Summary/show note will eventually come with your help? Please?

See what he’s up to? Go to his website

Quick Summary
Success: Small moments. Having a client with severe behavior reflect on their own success with behavior change.

Failure: Arrogance early in career. “Knowing everything” and later regretting what was said and done.

Book: Skinner‘s “Science and human behavior

Quote: “Hold everything lightly”
“The whole idea of science is knocking down ideas and building up new ones”