Behavioral Specialist Job Description

A behavioral specialist usually works in the special education department of a school district and deals with students who have behavior problems. The job description of a behavioral specialist involves case management and the development of behavior plans for students receiving special education services.

Position Description

A behavioral specialist is the individual responsible for assessing students with behavior issues, collecting data on the students, working with teachers, counselors and school psychologists to devise a behavior plan for the student and evaluating the effectiveness of the plan.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Behavioral Specialist

  • Compiles and interprets test results to diagnose students’ conditions and assess eligibility for special services.
  • Reports possible cases of child abuse, neglect or endangerment to the proper authorities.
  • Determines behavior capabilities of students as they function at home and in school.
  • Designs behavioral interventions for students.
  • Implements behavior support plans.
  • Measures goals and objectives of behavior support plans to ensure they are being met.
  • Coordinates between teachers and parents to implement behavioral interventions.
  • Communicates with parents and case managers in regard to students’ progress.
  • Analyzes the behavioral interventions to determine their success.
  • Assists students in identifying inappropriate behaviors and develop better behavior alternatives.
  • Creates and executes AEPS or Affiliated Education Programs Services assessments for children in special education classes.
  • Designs classes, programs and special curriculum to meet the individual needs of students.
  • Assists caregivers in facilitating behavioral interventions.
  • Records the progress of children receiving special education services.
  • Monitors and adjusts special education programs designed for each child.
  • Maintains records of students’ special education reports, services provided and behavioral data.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Must have a strong foundation in applied behavior analysis.
  • Must have an understanding of behavioral characteristics associated with behavior disorders, autism, intellectualdisabilities, traumatic brain injuries and other behavior issues.
  • Has good communication skills, both written and verbal, particularly with parents and education professionals.
  • Has a basic understanding of instructional methods and education curriculums.
  • Must have excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Must be able to handle emotionally charged situations.
  • Has the ability to train other people to apply behavior management techniques effectively.
  • Has knowledge of and knows how to work with various support systems that are available in a community.
  • Must know and understand state and federal laws and regulations associated with special education.
  • Has the ability to communicate with hearing impaired children using sign language when necessary.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in psychology, social work or human services.
  • Experience working with individuals with special needs.
  • Master’s degree in psychology or social work.
  • Specialty certificate in Applied Behavioral Analysis.
  • State license when treating patients in clinical setting.

Work Environment

  • Time will be spent working in schools, clinics and government institutions.
  • Must be able to travel to different locations usually within a city, county or state.
  • Must be able to travel to students’ homes to meet with parents or other caregivers.
  • Must be able to work in a smoke-free environment.

Salary

  • Average salaries range from $38,000 to $64,000.
  • Hourly pay ranges for $25 per hour to $45 per hour.

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