Eight staff at the Opportunity Village Children’s Autism Center are working to obtain certification as registered behavior technicians (RBT).
The certification requires 40 hours of training on the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA), an effective evidence-based treatment for children with autism, as identified by the National Autism Center. Training includes development of ABA skills and staff must pass a standardized exam to receive certification.
In the future, insurance companies likely will require such credentials for anyone providing ABA services. Also, while the CAC staff’s primary responsibility is to provide these services to children through the center, this certification signifies a higher level of training and knowledge and will elevate the CAC’s reputation as a leading service provider in the state of Iowa.
“Since our arrival, our plan has always been to elevate the center in every way possible, especially in how services are delivered to the children,” said Dr. Jesse Logue, co-director of clinical services at the CAC. “The staff has done an excellent job applying the information we gave them, and this credential will bring them to higher level of understanding and application of ABA.
“We want to encourage staff to be critical thinkers and feel comfortable on making educated decisions about (a child’s progress) and goals. This is the next logical step.”
While RBT certification is not standard in all clinics, it is an indicator of highly-trained staff. As of November 2016, there were only 14 registered behavior technicians in the state of Iowa.
Therapy sessions with children will, for the most part, follow the same format; however, ABA techniques used by staff while working with children will expand.
“It is our hope the extra training and knowledge will increase the efficiency of sessions, resulting in larger gains for children made over time,” Logue said.