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