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Tired of Feeling Stuck? Become an Registered Behavior Technician (RBT)

Change your life with a meaningful career that gives you flexibility to work as you’d like and earn from $18-30 per hour. All you need is a high school diploma!

Cambia tu vida con una carrera que te dará la oportunidad a trabajar horarios flexibles y te ayudará lograr todas tus metas mientras ganas de $18-30 dólares a la hora.

What does the certification process look like? See below:

From the Behavior Analyst Certification Board

Email me: barrosobehavioral@gmail.com

Envía un correo a: barrosobehavioral@gmail.com

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The Key to Success: Pairing

What makes you look towards special others and what keeps you away from some? Take a moment to look at some of your happiest pictures and consider those you have been tagged in. Why do you think those pictures were special? Think about how many have the following characteristics:

  • Fun activity
  • Family/friends gathering together
  • Exploring new things
  • Laughing/smiling with a significant other
  • Playing with your pets
  • Celebrating a holiday
  • Diving into your hobbies and creating things (permanent products)

Look at some of my happy pictures:

My moonchildren at the dog park!
My little brother (my guiding light) and I at the park on a family outing.
Blurry on purpose: my extended family in Georgia waiting to be seated at a restaurant.
My awesome nieces and nephews with me (Tia Hellen in the front) and my love (Tio Shawn in the back).
My love, being goofy with tacos.

What do these pictures have in common?

  • Family
  • Fun(ny) experiences
  • Enjoying preferred items and activities (tacos, the park)

Here is one very key aspect:

There is always a deeper level of interaction (more hands on) with someone in these pictures, for example:

  • my dogs had just finished playing together,
  • my nieces and nephews were interacting with one another and with their caregivers,
  • my significant other is interacting with me by making me laugh on the other side of the camera
  • we’re all experiencing something new that may be out of our ordinary routines

In a way, this is all:

Pairing

You know you have successfully paired with your clients or with others when:

  1. Your client looks for you/ asks you to join in on activities
  2. You have established a history of reinforcement with your client that is evident by increasing behaviors in which your client does activities with you
  3. Your client initiates conversation or tries to communicate with you frequently
  4. Your client follows your instructions when you are carrying out activities with them

What Pairing IS NOT:

  • You sit next to your client as they play a game
  • You follow around your client and they do not attempt to engage with you
  • You provide items/activities that your client frequently refuses
  • Any passive activity in which you are not really interacting with your client

You’ll know you need to work on pairing again when your client

  • Does not seek your assistance
  • Your voice has become aversive
  • Your presence makes your client try to go away
  • Your client will not share with you
  • Your client has expressed little interest in you

Remember, this does not mean that you are bad at what you do or that your client will be unable to work with you in the future. It simply means that you need to establish rapport with your client by creating a space where they can play with you and learn with you regarding things that also motivate them.

So before you attempt to provide instructions and carry out interventions, make sure that you have effectively paired. Limit demands, try to follow around the client’s motivation (even if you don’t like the same activities), engage with your client in a more hands-on approach, and don’t give up!

If you ever want to get better at the pairing process, just remember to go and pair with your loved ones! Get out there and create some new, amazing experiences!

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Our First Model:

Here is a video from a current BCBA in the field that shares basic strategies that you will encounter as you run session. Remember, this blog is all about being practical and we’ll do that with the permanent product found below:

Time to practice:

  1. Identify the strategies used in this video.
  2. What challenging behaviors did you observe?
  3. How were these challenging behaviors redirected/addressed?

Feel free to answer these questions in the comments section below!

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The Discrete Trial

Big skills, small steps.

There are things we want our clients to learn that perhaps they don’t come into contact with enough or they don’t receive sufficient support as they are being taught these concepts. In this situation, we often break down larger skills into more manageable steps that have lots of practice opportunities and chance to earn reinforcement– we call this process Discrete Trial Training (DTT).

I thoroughly enjoyed the following video due to its efficient example and commentary. I recommend starting it at time stamp 1:43. Let’s look at it now!

Another super helpful and comprehensive video is the following:

Now try to identify the following on your own:

  • Sd (discriminative stimulus)
  • Target behavior (B) or prompt
  • Sr (conditioned reinforcer) or correction

Check the following post for more tips on DTT:

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Discrete Trial Training Recommendations

These are some recommendations that I provided for my RBTs.

PREPARE

Before DTT- Things to do to prepare for DTT:

  • Look through the targets in client’s plan to determine what you can add to your session
  • Identify skills that client already knows, is learning, and does not know (include them in DTT)
  • Create a document with the tasks you will have your client do during DTT so that you can mark the activities as + or – as you go instead of having to pause and look through your data collection software (if you use one) to mark the target.

RUN YOUR TRIALS

During DTT– Things you can do in the discrete trial setting:

  • Ask client to imitate a sequence of movements
  • Ask client to spell a sight word 
  • As client to read a sight word
  • Ask a social skills question
  • Work on discrimination (touch the car, in an array of pictures)
  • Present 1, 2, and 3-step instructions
  • Practice receptive identification
  • Practice tacting

EXAMPLE: 

  1. say “mama”- imitation 

  2. touch nose- receptive 

  3. give me pencil- receptive 

  4. stand up- receptive 

  6. what color- expressive 

  5. how many- expressive 

  6. What is your name?- expressive 

REFLECT

After DTT– What to do when you’re done:

  • Mark if correct responding occurred based on the paper you filled out as you carried out your trials
  • Identify what you need to spend more time teaching or how you will modify your discrete trials in the future.

Hope this helped!

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Skill Acquisition

We are here to:

  • Learn via scenarios provided to identify functions of behavior.
  • Observe exceptional models in the field on what my sessions could look like.
  • Share conceptually systematic best practices and their outcomes.

I once was lost, but now I will:

Differentially reinforce my alternative behaviors to fumbling about in the practice of ABA by:

  • Identifying the needs of my clients using a data-driven approach
  • Searching for concepts on skills that I can improve on
  • Challenge myself to speak up when I am uncertain of a procedure or concept.

As long as you actively seek out new ideas and provide yourself with the space to grow, you will find applied behavior analysis extremely rewarding and your clients will too!

Good luck on your journey, practice culturally responsive ABA, and have loads of fun!