Mary Clemmons, Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) | June 8, 2023 | Building Blocks Program

The role of a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

When it comes to receiving professional behavior therapy services, there are many components and individuals involved to ensure both the child and family are able to thrive. Marshall Pediatric Therapy offers a focused-based model behavior program (Building Blocks Program), a collaborative and individualized approach to a child’s specific needs and challenges. Most are familiar with the term Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), and most are familiar with a rather demanding structure when it comes to how these services are introduced. We help to advocate what program suits one's lifestyle best and are glad that there are options.

Read more about Marshall's behavior program, Building Blocks, here.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is defined as an application of the science of behavior that systematically works to increase skills that aid in the reduction of challenging behaviors and improves the lives of children and families. This is done through reinforcement and teaching strategies based on functional analysis and data collection.

What exactly is a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT)?

An RBT is defined as a paraprofessional certification in behavior analysis. RBTs help to assist in delivering behavior analysis services and practice under the direction and supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

The role of an RBT: is to primarily help to collect data in order to best carry out a treatment plan. The treatment plan is formatted by the BCBA and is made up of goals and target behaviors that need to be worked on. The data that is collected helps to track progress and re-access goals.

An RBT’s day starts and ends with both fun and “pairing”. Pairing is the ability to build rapport with someone. RBTS spend time ensuring fun is being had to make sure that the kids are HRE (happy, relaxed, engaged). Similarly to adults, kids learn much better and are much more engaged when in this state. When following a treatment plan, it’s so important that the RBT is engaged with the child.

  • On the child’s level playing with them

  • On the child’s level communicating with them

  • Teaching social skills

  • Working on key “targets”

It is the RBT’s responsibility to provide positive reinforcement to clients. What is positive reinforcement? Positive reinforcement: an introduction of a desirable stimulus after a behavior that ultimately makes that behavior likely reoccur. The RBT does this by providing a child with praise and giving them preferred items for functionally appropriate play. This encourages the child to continue doing the desired action and to continue to grow that relationship.

One of the most important jobs of the RBT is to always pair. By pairing, you’re telling the child that you’re always there for them and that you are becoming their safe place.

What education/certification is required to become a Registered Behavior Technician?

You must at minimum have a high school diploma or your GED. At Marshall, it is preferred you have at least a Bachelor’s Degree. In most cases, you must have a minimum of 40 hours of observation/specialty training, as well as have passed the RBT competency assessment/exam. To learn more about the requirements of competency, you can visit the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s page here.

Top suggested reads for a Registered Behavior Technician:

  1. Science and Human Behavior

  2. Applied Behavior Analysis, 3rd Edition

  3. No More Meltdowns

  4. Uniquely Human, a Different Way of Seeing Autism

  5. Applied Behavior Analysis Principles and Procedures For Modifying Behavior

  6. Applied Behavior Analysis: 50 Case Studies in Home, School, and Community settings

  7. Ethics and Behavior Analysis, 3rd Edition

To view all of Marshall’s current career openings including that of a Registered Behavior Technician, you can check here.