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The Role of the Behavioral Intervention Specialist

Jan 27, 2022

Individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) require assistance to help them develop important learning skills and minimize destructive behaviors. Each individual and situation are different, thereby requiring a treatment program geared toward specific needs of individuals.

What is a Behavioral Intervention Specialist?

Behavioral Intervention Specialists (BIS’s) are professionals experienced in applied behavior analysis, offering unique skill sets for assisting, developing, and implementing BIPs (behavioral intervention plans). Behavioral Intervention Specialists work one-on-one with individuals, providing intervention, support, and education strategies while adhering to inclusion guidelines outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

After interviews with family members and other key members in an individual’s life, the BIS compiles a report that reflects the individual’s particular living circumstances, family dynamic, history, likes and dislikes, as well as triggers that result in negative responses and reactions.

Behavioral Intervention Specialists build a strong rapport with individuals, which is essential to earning their trust and gaining insight into what motivates them. This part of the process takes effort, patience, empathy, and understanding. Once the BIS has determined an approach, a personalized support plan is developed tailored to the specific individual.

Behavior Support Plans

A behavior support plan (BSP), employs positive reinforcement through education, communication, and social interaction to help individuals with I/DD unlearn or reduce harmful behaviors. Positive reinforcement of a person’s strengths and accomplishments is used to reverse resistive behavior resulting from a previous cycle of negative reinforcement. BSPs play a crucial role in helping adults and children with I/DD improve their social interactions and responsive behaviors, while building important life skills.

Providing the Necessary Support

With a focus on elevating independence, the BIS prepares individuals with I/DD to integrate with others within a supportive environment. During this process, individuals learn daily living skills and social inclusion to become productive members of their communities. Many develop their talents through pre-vocational training which helps them prepare for employment.

Working as a Behavioral Intervention Specialist

Working as a Behavioral Intervention Specialist is rewarding, challenging, and requires a lot of patience. It also requires a deep understanding of an individual’s unique needs, motivations, and fears.

The Independent Living Association (ILA) employs highly trained behavioral intervention specialists who work closely with ILA’s Individuals to develop successful support plans that enable Individuals to achieve more joy and fulfillment in their lives. Together, our BIS team helps Individuals to enhance their skills and abilities, while achieving greater socialization and community integration. Positive reinforcement and encouragement are always provided, which helps to boost Individuals’ self-worth and self-confidence, and increase the desire to succeed.

For more information on ILA’s programs and services, and to join our excellent team of nonprofit professionals, contact us  or visit our Career Center.

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