23 Feb ABA Insights: Why I Love Being a Registered Behavior Technician
Upon graduating with a BA degree in Psychology in May of 2020, I searched for careers that would allow me to serve others, particularly children, in an underserved area. I had experience working with kids with down syndrome, ADHD, and dyslexia, but had never worked with individuals with autism. I found CCABA’s job posting to think big, have fun, and do good with kids with autism and felt right at home.
Coming from an undergraduate research background, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) made sense to me. After reading articles and speaking with CCABA, I realized being an RBT in ABA included my favorite parts of research: objective data collection to track progress; being part of a collaborative team; and making evidence-based conclusions and recommendations. However, it left out the part of research that had led me to burn out: a lack of a relationship with the people I was trying to help; distance from how conclusions effected daily life; and a rather serious and computer-bound lifestyle.
I have loved being an RBT for the past 1.5 years. I have seen clients develop independent daily living skills for the first time in 13 years. I have learned from other RBTs, who show me new ways to incorporate goals into a child’s natural play and who support me in challenging situations. I have developed close relationships with my BCBAs who value research-based practices, socially meaningful goals, and a positive client experience.
Being an RBT takes energy, dedication, and a whole lot of patience. However, being an RBT also gives you meaningful relationships with incredible kids, clinicians, and caregivers. You help kids functionally communicate their needs, wants, and emotions for the first time. Lastly, as a personal favorite, it gives you a paycheck to blow bubbles, draw colorful pictures, and sing silly songs. That’s why I love being an RBT.
By: Emma Rogers, BA, RBT