If services are being provided outside of the school setting, a private consultant would likely be hired. Parents and caregivers should look for someone who has an educational and experiential background in applied behavior analysis. Although many people may be qualified to work with children with developmental disabilities, one should have specific training in behavior analysis to provide ABA services. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) certifies practitioners in behavior analysis (Board Certified Behavior Analyst or BCBA and Board Certified Associate Behavior Analyst or BCaBA). All BCBAs and BCaBAs demonstrate minimal competency in behavior analysis by meeting stringent eligibility standards (education and experience in behavior analysis) and passing a certification examination (see below for more information). Not all BCBAs or BCaBAs have direct experience working with individuals with autism spectrum disorders so parents are encouraged to refer to the Guidelines for Consumers of Applied Behavior Analysis Services to Individuals with Autism for recommendations that help protect consumers and assist them in identifying qualified practitioners. These guidelines are reviewed and updated periodically so they can be a helpful reference. The program consultant should, for example, provide frequent ongoing supervision and training to monitor learner progress and ensure maximum benefit.
BCBAs and BCaBAs typically develop and oversee home ABA programming, though often do not implement the direct, daily instruction required. Parents/caregivers typically hire instructors or individuals who can be trained in ABA procedures to carry out the day-to-day operations of the program. Local universities (e.g., education and psychology departments) can be a helpful avenue for finding potential instructors, and families often post flyers announcing these openings. Regional Chapters of the Association for Behavior Analysis and local Autism Society of America (ASA) chapters can also provide networking and support opportunities and connect families with local resources. The book Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism: A Guide for Parents and Professionals (Maurice, Green & Luce, 1996) offers guidance in this area and is highly recommended reading in this area.