If you are a parent of a child on the autism spectrum and considering ABA therapy, you have likely asked yourself these questions:
- Who will my child be working with?
- What will my child be doing for all of those hours?
- Will they be able to work with my child successfully?
- How well are they trained?
If you are in this situation and have any trepidation, that is completely normal. It can be nerve-racking sending a newly diagnosed child, who may have never worked with someone outside of their parents, to a center for up to forty hours a week.
When your child is enrolled in ABA therapy, they will gain access to a team of highly trained individuals who will teach, form a relationship with, and advocate for them. Overseeing treatment at the helm is a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) who will instruct the team members on the actions to take. However, under their supervision are Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs): the hands-on professionals who will work with your child day to day.
What is an RBT?
A BCBA creates the individual treatment plan for your child while RBTs are the members of your child’s team that carry it through. They work with your child in each session to reach their individual goals. Throughout your child’s time with the RBT, the focus will be on building a positive and productive relationship, teaching your child new skills using the techniques and strategies the RBT has been trained to implement, and keeping families informed and updated regarding the therapy sessions the RBT provided. At Springtide, we take extra note to pair each individual client with the right RBT that can build the best relationship and promote the best success.
What an RBT's Day Looks Like
Prior to your child’s session, the RBT will review the data previously collected from past sessions as well as the BCBA’s plan for the next steps. They will also prepare what they need for that day’s plan, such as gathering materials and activities.
During your child’s day, the RBT will follow the schedule determined by the BCBA while finding productive and engaging ways to teach new skills. The day will be spent teaching the child skills as identified in the treatment plan utilizing a wide variety of evidence based (research supported) practices to teach life altering skills. As they continue through the day, they will collect data based on their observations and your child’s response to learning opportunities. All of this will be reported to you through daily updates and weekly reviews.
Springtide uses modern, play-based ABA Therapy as part of our 360 approach to care. During sessions, RBTs and other therapists engage children in play and embed learning opportunities into the natural environment. This helps ensure that your child is not only learning new skills at our centers, but also is able to utilize those skills in the real world. This naturalistic approach relieves stress and makes learning fun, but more importantly, leads to greater absorption and translation of learned material to environments such as the home, school, and community.
RBT Training, Qualifications and Characteristics
RBTs are Trained Professionals
Before becoming an RBT, a person must finish 40 hours of training in addition to completing a competency assessment given by a BCBA. This assessment will determine that the RBT is knowledgeable in both discussion and practice of ABA strategies and can implement them effectively. Finally, candidates take a written exam from the Behavior Analytic Certification Board.
The training is provided through a variety of sources including life, hands-on guidance and support. RBTs in training shadow fellow veteran RBTs, receive support and feedback from BCBAs, and practice implementing skills taught throughout their training. During this time, they are able to learn and practice behavior support strategies as well as skill acquisition and teaching procedures in a real-life scenario. In addition, RBTs become masters at data collection, which plays a crucial role in informing parents and BCBAs regarding the child's progress.
Springtide goes above and beyond the requirements set out for behavioral health professionals to ensure that our clients are working with the best the industry has to offer. We provide additional training, career development, free resources, and more to support our staff and help them grow beyond what is typically found in other centers. We support our staff so that they can better support you.
RBTs Should Communicate with Parents Often
RBTs play a crucial role in communicating with parents at drop off and pick up. While BCBAs oversee the treatment and progress of your child, you are more likely to interact with the RBT throughout the week.
You should be receiving regular updates as to your child’s progress towards meeting their goals. At Springtide, we consistently provide daily updates and include in-depth weekly reviews. Keeping you informed about your child’s progress is a top priority.
RBTs Can Motivate Your Child to Meet Goals
A comfortable and positive relationship with the RBT will help motivate your child to reach their goals. Your child must trust this person in order to move through the goals and interventions. Because of this, expect the RBT to play with your child and learn what your child likes at the beginning stages. Upon establishing this positive rapport with the child, the RBT will be able to effectively ask them to engage in more challenging tasks.
The Springtide family is proud to pair your child with RBTs who are knowledgeable and equipped to move your child to the next level. If you would like more information on who will be working with your child or what our program entails, reach out on our website, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call at (888) 260-1609.
Reach out today and speak with one of our enrollment specialists to get started with Springtide