Registered behavior technicians (RBTs) are paraprofessionals who work directly with people who have autism. As an RBT, you’ll implement plans designed by Board-Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs).

More than 115,000 people are certified as RBTs by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Should you join them?

We asked three members of our team to tell us what it’s like to work with clients, peers, and supervisors. As you read through their responses, you might decide that this is the career change you’ve been looking for. 

Meet the RBTS

We spoke with three Elemy RBTs:

  • Alexis Aguilar joined Elemy in February 2021 and worked as an RBT in the Chicago area. Aguilar recently passed her exams and became a BCBA.
  • Genesis Williamson joined Elemy in February 2022 and works as an RBT in the San Antonio region. 
  • Daijah Montes joined Elemy in October 2021 and works as an RBT in the Fort Worth region. 

How Do You Start Your Day and Prepare for Client Work?

“I make sure to have a good breakfast to start the day since I have a late lunch most days after my first session. I listen to music during my drives to get me pumped before sessions,” says Montes. 

“On days where I serve my client in the afternoon, I give myself at least an hour to prepare to administer services. My preparation includes gathering all of my safety equipment (mask, sanitizing wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.) and program materials (matching card sets, visual supports for communicating, books, etc.). I take a moment to review my client’s programs to familiarize myself with any newly added targets for the day, and then I head out to serve my client,” Williamson says. 

How Do Your Client Sessions Begin?

“When I walk in the door of my client’s home, I put on my biggest smile, which is not a hard thing to do because I feel a genuine sense of joy when I see my client’s face and my client’s parents. I greet everyone with a wave and a hello, and I set up any toys and program materials I will use throughout the session. 

“Next, I take a moment with my client’s parents to hear any feedback on the progress they see their child making, any concerns, and/or any skills they would like to acquire in assisting with their child’s learning and also have their child improve on. After hearing from the parents, I get the session started by following my client’s lead in activities they most enjoy. This can range from jumping on trampolines to going on walks,” Williamson says. 

“Once we have had time to just enjoy playing, I began incorporating programs into the different play activities we engage in throughout the remainder of the session. In between play activities, there are table-work activities I implement to help my client adjust to a structured schedule. (Table-work activities may be done at an actual table, on the floor, on the couch, or any place in the home where the client is able to focus on the task being asked of them during these segments.) 

“After a little bit of work, we relax with some outside play, and a tasty snack, then do a couple more segments of play with programs and table-work activities,” Williamson explains.

How Do You Measure Progress During Each Session?

“It’s very important to add data immediately after executing a goal with the client so the BCBA has accurate data to look over. The data that is collected could then tell us if something needs to be adjusted. This helps us to continue to provide personalized care for our clients,” Montes says. 

Montes explains that she uses an app to collect the data she takes, which makes it much easier than recording data on paper. “You select what program you are working on with the client and then record their responses for every trial,” says Montes. 

Aguilar says that the data collection software can be challenging to navigate at times, but the program she uses with her work at Elemy is the best software she’s used both as an RBT and BCBA, so she has more time to focus on her clients.

How Do Your Sessions End?

“As the session comes to a close, my client and I spend the last bit of time just enjoying whatever activity my client prefers, then I transition my client to their parents,” says Williamson. She lets the client’s parents know areas where she is seeing progress, shows them a few skills the child may have learned, then finishes off her session notes, and puts away any materials before heading out.

“After my first session, I get some lunch and visit my pets for a walk and maybe do some chores or watch an episode of a show I’m watching with my fiancé who works from home,” Montes says. 

“I try to practice having a little self-care throughout the day and making time for the people that matter in my life and maintain a healthy work-life balance,” she explains. “Then I head out to my second session for the day. Some days my supervisors will join me for sessions or I help out with caregiver training.”

How Do Your Teammates Support You?

There is always open communication with all clinical and admin staff, Aguilar says. “If a question cannot be answered immediately, all staff members do what they can to provide an answer in a timely manner. Everyone is friendly and open-minded at Elemy. RBTs and BCBAs form bonds and groups of people that can depend on each other for support and advice,” Aguilar says.

“Elemy also has one of the best work environments I’ve ever worked in. Everyone is so helpful and encouraging, making work an enjoyable experience,” Montes says. 

What Makes the Elemy Model Different?

“I’ve only worked with one other company that was a center-based clinic, and I’ve interviewed with a few others that just didn’t compete with what Elemy has to offer. I left my last position in search of a company that was more organized and offered better work/life balance, and growth opportunities. I got what I was looking for with Elemy,” Montes says. 

“Being that Elemy is remote, there has always been support as if Elemy was an in-person company, which I am forever grateful for. At my previous employer, the environment got very cliquey and toxic, which overall impacts the performance of staff and the treatment being provided, and this is not something that occurs at Elemy. I would cry often at my last company and at Elemy, I have never cried over the way I was treated here,” Aguilar says. 

How Do You Measure Success on the Job?

“I feel like I find the most personal success when I see the clients I work with reach their milestones or when I am working on a project and beat a deadline. Seeing myself grow as a clinician and switch roles has been very rewarding,” Aguilar says.

“I measure my personal success based on where my client began compared to the growth and development they make as they transition out of services. My goal is to always leave a client, and their family, better than when I first came,” Williamson says. “There will always be continued progress to be made, and some goals may not be completely accomplished, but if they have made significant milestones within the time of my services, then I have been successful in my eyes.”

Become an RBT

Our country needs more compassionate, skilled, trained RBTs. At Elemy, we’re determined to help.

In April 2022, we launched the Elemy Ecademy to train the next generation of autism care providers. Complete our program, and you’ll be certified to provide at-home applied behavior analysis services for children with autism. 

Find out how the program works, and join us!

Reference

BACB Certificant Data. (April 2021). Behavior Analyst Certification Board.