The job of behavior analysts is to put protocols and programs in place for ABA therapists to perform. That means a program is usually just as good as how the therapist implements it. An ABA therapist who can follow programming, implement protocol, and take data is indispensable to the success of the program. So what should parents look for when they hire a therapist for their child? These are as follows.
A therapist can have stellar education and the right degrees, but practical experience is more important than those. You have to know what kind of ABA work he or she has been doing. Look for their experience working as a subordinate to a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. ABA program service providers also look at a therapist’s experience working under this professional who is certified at applied behavior analysis.
Personality over Education
Education is essential, but the service providers should find the right person and teach ABA theory as well as knowledge. The therapist has to be fun and engaging, as well as be able to take the initiative while following directions too. Getting through to 2-year-olds will likely be difficult for a boring therapist if those children learn in a play-based program. When ABA Therapy providers have two candidates for the therapist role – one having the right personality and another with the right educational qualifications, they would take the former any day.
They look at whether candidates come prepared for play sessions with exciting toys and their novels as this is a good sign.
Registered Behavior Technician is an Asset
Some months ago, the BACB® came out with a credential known as the RBT (Registered Behavior Technician). This is not a requirement at present, but it is regarded as an asset for a candidate to have. Candidates who do not have this credential have to at least be ready to take the course and be RBT® certified.
The Kid Does the Interview
ABA service providers suggest having any potential therapist meet the child they would work with and interact with him or her. Among others, the following can also be seen from the first interaction.
- Does the candidate greet the kid?
- Does the potential therapist come down to his or her level?
- Can the therapist play and engage with the kid with little to no direction?
The service providers can infer a lot from the potential connection they see between the child and therapist. If the latter has a hard time with how to engage and play with the former, then they may not be suitable for the role.