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What to expect after being hired as a Behavior Therapist or Behavior Technician
If you are actively searching or currently in the process of being hired as a Behavior Technician or Behavior Therapist (BT), then this is the post for you! Once you are hired as a Behavior Technician, here is what to expect during your first few weeks in the position.
In the ABA Works Company, a Behavior Technician’s first week is dedicated to 4 different types of training. During each of the 4 pieces of training, ABA Works is dedicated to teaching our new employees new skills where they can learn and grow in their positions.
During the first week, you will be required to complete a portion of the credentialed online 40-hour Registered Behavior Training (RBT) that focuses on ABA strategies, data collection methods, and much more relating to the Behavior Technician’s position. The online training is expected to be complete during your availability of the first week and will relate to the other 3 scheduled trainings. The Online training is accessible on the website: www.abacourses.com
The second training will be administrative training. During this training, you and the trainer will review the following topics:
- BT training manual
- Company overview
- NPA (ABA software)
- Your work and training schedule
- Employee Handbook
- BT job description, and
- The mandated tasks for the session.
Before diving into the other trainings, I can tell that it is very important to review the training manual before the other trainings are conducted. In the training manual, you will be presented the BT Training handouts, which provide the guideline of what to expect during those trainings. It is important to review these beforehand because you will be tested in your knowledge, participate in roleplaying ABA skills, and implement these skills.
The third training will be focused on the clinical aspect of the BT position and relates to the topics presented in the RBT online training. The clinical training will be conducted one time during that week and will focus on the following topics:
- Professionalism & Ethics
- Explanation of a Typical Session
- Overview of Verbal Operants
- Data Collection, and
- Behavior Management
The fourth training is dedicated to working in the field. During this training, you will be shadowing another BT or RBT (Registered Behavior Technician) during a session. The field training will take place twice during that week and with different clients. During these field trainings, you will observe and partially assist in the following tasks:
- Setting up for the session
- Using basic ABA strategies
- Implementing skill acquisition trials, and
- Wrapping up Daily Session Notes
- During the first few weeks of your ABA position, you will also get to start the first few sessions with your client.
After your training week has concluded, the second week is where you will officially start your sessions. During your first few sessions with your clients, your Program Supervisor will be overlapping you to assist and inform you of the following:
- About the client
- The target behaviors
- Family dynamics & culture
- The environment, and
- The client’s programs
While working with your client, you will be provided ongoing supervision from your Program Supervisor. Just as with the trainings, it is so important to ask questions to your Program Supervisor.
During your first sessions, it is best to focus on building rapport with your client(s) and their family(s). While building rapport, it is also a great time to start pairing yourself with your client. In a previous ABA Works blog post, I mentioned that pairing means that the learner will have access to preferred activities through you (and not free access).
When you have successfully paired yourself, the learner will become motivated to follow your lead and think of you like the fun person every time they see you. Through successful pairing, you are also able to establish instructional control. I remember during my first session I used that time to get to know my client and observed what his favorite activities are. Once I found that my client enjoyed playing with cars, I used that activity as an opportunity to pair myself. During this process, I became creative and used a playful voice, which my client really enjoyed!
- Staff Training/Meeting
During the first few weeks of your ABA position, you will also get to experience the amazing monthly team training. In the ABA Works Company, this training is mandated to attend and focuses on training staff members in certain ABA skills that will be utilized and beneficial during sessions. Through these meetings, helped me improve my ABA skills and also get to know my fellow Behavior Technicians and other Program Supervisors. The meetings became a great time to hang out with them and learn something new.
For information on starting ABA services, click here
For starting a 40-hour RBT training, click here
For applying for a Behavior Technician or Supervisor position, click here
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