Best Practice Blog

Welcome to our Best Practice Blog. We periodically add articles written by our staff on current best practices for Behavior Analysts, Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs), and other service providers. If you have a suggestion for a topic that you would like us to cover, contact us!

True Inclusion

By Christine Holland, M.S., BCBA, LBA

As a service provider for individuals with development disabilities we are sometimes asked by businesses and community organizations outside the field how they can be more inclusive of individuals with developmental disabilities. While there are many things they can do, we have listed five basic tips to keep in mind interacting with individuals with developmental disabilities.

Tips for New Families

Families of children who have just received a diagnosis of autism can be overwhelmed thinking about what to do next. They have a lot of information to sift through, including advice from professionals and various websites, blogs, and social media sites. If you are a parent, the following resources are a great place to start. If you are a service provider, these are great resources to provide to families. 

Fire Safety Tips

Fire safety is important for everyone, but particularly important for individuals with disabilities and those with limited communication skills. Here are some tips and resources to support people with disabilities. 

Creating Engaging Trainings

By Christine Holland, M.S., BCBA, LBA

Training events are one of the main ways we can provide professional development to service provider and caregivers. But how can you make sure people get the most out of your training?  Here are 5 tips for creating engaging trainings that people will remember!

Know Your Learners

It is helpful to know the general characteristics of adult learners when you are designing a training.  Adult learners want information that is relevant to their job responsibilities and can be immediately applied.  They also come to trainings with a foundation of life experiences and knowledge.  A good trainer can use this knowledge and experience to encourage active participation.  

Building Partnerships: A primer

In the wide-ranging field of human services, we have a positive bias towards partnering. Our field is replete with many forms of mutual working, i.e. coalitions, consortiums, alliances, networks, information sharing, cooperation, coordination and collaboration.

I believe this emanates from our shared belief that those we serve should become independent when in fact (because we are social beings), what we often mean is they should become more interdependent, i.e. connect and work towards mutual goals with others. It is a logical outgrowth of our beliefs and practices that the very organizations designed to serve others should become more interdependent and not independent/competitive.

Perhaps because we strongly lean in this direction, we are often naïve about the challenges we face when we try to (with a nod to Spike Lee) “do the right thing” and work in partnership.

Encouraging Communication

For children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or other developmental disabilities, oral communication skills are often delayed. When a child is unable to communicate effectively with his or her environment, this often leads to frustration and (sometimes) challenging behavior. However, with proactive, language based interventions, children can make incremental progress. Here are some tips for encouraging language development when working with an early language learner.

Setting up RBT Supervision for Success

Registered Behavior Technicians are required to be supervised for 5% of the hours spent providing behavior-analytic services per month. Here are five strategies for making the most of that time and setting supervision up for success:

Use a Supervision Contract

At the onset of supervision, review and sign a supervision contract outlining the nature of supervision, documentation of hours, and responsibilities of both the supervisor and the RBT. This will set clear expectations right from the start. 

Building Rapport With Staff

As behavior analysts, much of our time is spent providing coaching and training to the staff responsible for implementing behavioral interventionsDirect care staff may have limited knowledge of the principles of applied behavior analysis and the use of behavior analytic strategies; therefore, wmay need to change staff behavior in order to change clients’ behavior. Taking the time to build rapport with staff before asking them to change what they are doing will make them more receptive to your suggestions and feedback. Here are five strategies for building rapport with staff: