ABA’s Lack of Infrastructure (Part 1)


Pass it to Sarah. Ha! Hashtag no pressure know what I wanted to talk about was the stuff that we talked about in New Orleans at the ABA
State Association summit which was really if you look at the growth
projection rates in our field whether you take it on a state-by-state basis
whether you take it in the United States or worldwide we are on this insane
trajectory and especially in the US because we have autism insurance
mandates in 50 states now since Tennessee just passed their (autism) mandate a couple months ago the demand for behavior analytic
services for this population is off the charts and at state associations TexABA as a trade association the Behavior Analysis Leadership Council I feel like
we’re charged with trying to help support lead mentor trained all of these
young people and and how are we going to do it and also then you overlay that
everyone wants to talk to a be a business now because there’s so much
work to be done and there’s very few barriers century so what are the answers
and that part of why we created today and so like yeah I could see what and so part of the reason that we wanted
to come to Texas to do this ABA boot camp is if you look at the job demand
data from the bacb and burning glass where I reside California accounts for
30% of all BCBA job demand data throughout the country which is
surprising blows my mind but Texas is not that far behind and it was really
evident today from the people that participated in the boot camp that
people have a ton of energy they know there’s a need they want to be able to
serve this need I think the intentions that they have in terms of starting
their business are great but there’s just not enough resources for behavior
analyst so how do we build… build that capacity on a state level
because all of us have regulations that are highly state specific but then also
in a larger national level to support all of these young business owners and
even younger clinicians that are coming into the field since the vast majority
of our field is being built right now so that means you have clinicians that are
behavior analysts that are starting businesses are working in businesses
with what is it less than three or four years experience physical experience hmm
and yeah starting a business is gonna get you’re under roll mm-hmm yeah based
on the projections that we saw for the BACB Look at the course sequences and there’s nothing in there and there’s no room because there’s so much that we have to teach
them to be good clinicians they just couldn’t possibly be room without
turning it into a terminal ph.d program well I think going back to what your
question is is like how do we support them I think we’re starting to do that
so workshops like this right and getting them expanded I think expanding into the
podcast arena into some different avenues to… so they can contact and
research and do gather additional education in those different areas that
they’re going into you because that’s exactly what you said that’s what we did
it’s like I don’t know what to do as a business owner so I go to Google and I
go find other people who are doing it well and I ask good questions so if we
can and I love what you guys are doing if we can keep putting out these sort of
workshops to help support I think that’s where we start but we just need more
yeah we need more of it and part of the way that we curated even the topics for
today is because I started doing these boot camps in California three years ago
and it was based off of feedback that we got at the CalABA conference and
business owners you know we had this panel and I said hey would anyone be
interested in like maybe a whole day devoted to just kind of talking about
these kind of issues and every hand there went up yes and we sold that out
and we partnered with a APBA did want to Atlanta and now we’re partnering with
the BALC and TxABA and so what I’m trying to get at here is
what we need to be doing is combining forces together yeah looking at where
the need is the greatest and then executing on what those needs are and
our content today was really based on the feedback that I’ve gotten from
multiple boot camps looking at what the primary pain points are and that
retention and turnover is a killer for agencies and also how do you compete
especially for behavior analyst in a you know like a hundred percent almost
employment full employment market for for BCBAs and then also for RBT’s
because we’re in this you know nascent phase of growth
so we don’t have all of the infrastructure in place to support the
needs that companies have in terms of having those direct technicians it
sounds like we have we don’t have these like tremendous well formed programs at
a community college level high school level at a university level right or
they are you know creating externship opportunities that you have
relationships with other businesses and you’re automatically having that
pipeline RBT we’re having to basically source these people yes from the
atmosphere and then businesses are charged with training them which is
highly costly and so then when there’s a turnover event it’s really challenging
for everyone and people feel you know so sad about it and they’re upset about
people leaving but there’s all these other competing contingencies for the
the RBT’s time and so picking that topic looking at the hip and compliance thing
I think which just scares people every time we talk about that in the room all
the eyes is so big it’s terrified we also have these responsibilities as
behavior analysts if we want to expand into behavioral health and into medicine
then we need to make sure that we’re doing it in a way that really puts
patient care first and being HIPAA compliant and understanding Quality
Assurance in compliance related to all of your contracts assessments is is a
critical piece and the infrastructure please Suzanne I mean like we could talk
for the whole day’s workshop probably for a month about infrastructure
development and how do you decide what to do when how do you build these out
and I think a lot of ABA businesses are considering what do you need to do to be
able to support appropriate infrastructure and that you have to make
that a priority and it can’t simply just be top-line billable our growth but I
also think as we talked about today it’s not just infrastructure for our
individual organizations part of the reason we wanted to partner with you
guys and partner with Calabar and other people is because the way we’re set up
right now as a fashion as I my slide today there’s over a hundred formal
organizations that all have their own strategic plan all are saying let’s go
that way which is great that somebody’s doing it
but we might all be pointing in different directions so until we start
to get together and have a shared vision for where we want to go and how we’re
gonna get there I feel like we can’t serve the people that were here to try
to meet their needs the best because we’re wasting a lot of resources
duplicating efforts so I think the more we can do to collaborate the better off
we and we’re all resource constrained duplicating efforts yet all of us have
minimal resources it’s all based on volunteer right so we need to all come
together and have mechanisms by which to communicate yes so we can support each
other and share resources first is feeling like gosh we’re in the silo in
Texas or we’re in Connecticut or California and no one’s ever experienced
the things that we’ve experienced but we’ve all got it yeah and then we’re
recreating the wheel over and over and over again
yes actly so in a conversation I don’t know if I can say who I have the
conversation with with that because I don’t have their permission but this
didn’t come from me but somebody who’s looked at similar sized professions so
we’re you know roughly 40,000 people and you look at the infrastructure at the
national or international level for how many employees they have to meet the
needs for marketing for PR for development of really sound deep
training for people beyond basic certification would you like to guess
how many employees they have 20 so we need 20 now and how many do we really so
if we had if we had a mothership and then that we all somehow collaborated if
that mothership would have 20 employees and we don’t and that’s just for be BCBAs
it’s not RBTs that’s only for BCBAs because our RBT number is already over
66,000 as of october 1st yeah to do the lobbying to
set the to communicate with us who are doing you know national or state things
to say here’s what we’ve set the agenda to be for legislative action here the
resources we could give you here’s the training we can give you we don’t have
so that was that was assuming a 15% growth rate but what they’ve been seeing
on the testing at each testing cycle is it’s more like thirty thirty five
percent forty percent would yeah I think that’s gonna sustain I mean there’s
gonna be at some point you know that will kind of crest and level out a
little bit but we haven’t and the curve it I mean in the you know the trend it’s
crazy you know and so we were also being put in this I think amazing position but
also really challenging position of having to put in all of these things
kind of on the back end just to keep up with you know the demand and I and I
don’t think we are yet it’s not just on the back end it’s on the back end and on
the fly and under-resourced yes which is why it’s so important to create these
collaborative relationships because all of us acknowledge whether you’re a state
association worthy or National Association we’re doing the best we can
on minimal budgets and we’re trying to bootstrap it and relying a lot on you
know heavily taxed volunteerism that also are trying to run businesses and to
support all the recipes of behavior analytic services as well mm-hmm
so there’s one thousand and fifty seven million things to do we’re doing ten we
have a little yes and so if nothing else we want this
to be an example of what you can do with collaboration yeah what you can do with
collaboration and I think it was really nice is the you know like you guys
brought like these great technical skill sets I’d like to think that the BALC
was able to bring like some nice marketing skill sets but doesn’t look at
how everything came together and the the feedback that we’ve got from today was
really positive and a and that whole idea was you know to give people some
ideas some food for thought some you know good tools but what my concern is
is this needs to be we need to extend this and so how do we view how can we
look at it being more systematic about how we support the efforts of all these
people that are running businesses and it’s something I’m still trying to
figure out in light of the fact that we’re all you know under-resourced and
already doing the 10 out of 1 million 5,000 things you know we have to be really smart
about you know from my perspective maybe there’s just nothing that is equals
having this kind of personal interaction together happiness networking and really
building those relationships but also understanding that there’s going to be
competing contingencies for people yes and so then offering both quality online
content in-person content and then how do you interweave those?

1 thought on “ABA’s Lack of Infrastructure (Part 1)

  1. I offer my full support to behavior analysts, but just listening to these stressful people is in itself anxiety-provoking. Of course, realistically speaking, no workshop is ever going help! The only way in which there will truly be something like a "shared vision" or "collaboration" is when behavior analysts finally learn about how to engage in Sound Verbal Behavior (SVB). It makes absolutely no sense to continue with this frantic, crazy, exhausting, ineffective, impersonal Noxious Verbal Behavior (NVB)!!!

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