BRAINTREE, Mass.—Proving its commitment to providing best-in-class autism therapy, ABA Centers of America touts the successful outcomes of its data-driven “precepting” training program for its Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs). In addition to 100 of 113 of the company’s RBTs passing their certification on the first try, 95 percent of RBTs who pass the special training report increased confidence in their ability to work with clients independently post-training. RBTs provide ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy directly to children with autism, usually for several hours a day.
Precepting is a common practice in the medical field, where new nurses, for example, are required to complete specific tasks under the supervision of an experienced nurse. In the ABA Centers of America Precepting Program, after a thorough two weeks of study and classroom training at the company’s own ABA Academy of Excellence, each RBT is paired with an experienced RBT preceptor. In therapy with a client, the new RBT must successfully complete 58 tasks in 6 categories to demonstrate competency.
“It’s not just a trainee shadowing an established professional,” said Julie Bazinet, Director of Training and Growth for ABA Centers of America. “We assess each trainee’s progress with our onsite competency evaluation tool. We track their progress, score them, and analyze the data. If they don’t achieve at least an 80-percent score on each of two precepting sessions, they have to go back to the Academy setting for more training.”
Bazinet, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with 18 years in the ABA field, designed the company’s training program, including the innovative idea of adding precepting. “I learned about precepting from my parents,” she said, adding that they were both medical professionals in fields that used precepting. “And then, while I was in the hospital having a baby, my nurse came in with a trainee who was precepting. While she was going through her tasks and commenting on the trainee’s progress, I realized we could do the same thing with our trainees!”
The precepting program is a hit with the company’s RBTs. “I felt way more prepared and comfortable actively using my knowledge in live sessions after precepting. It’s the perfect opportunity to cement the material I learned in class,” wrote one program graduate in an anonymous survey.
“Most staff training programs rely on lectures and presentations,” said Janelle Guarino, Assistant Director of Training and a BCBA with the company. “That methodology is effective for transferring a certain amount of knowledge but ineffective at teaching trainees to perform effective clinical care.”
Why doesn’t every ABA agency follow similar training practices? “They don’t have the resources that we have to dedicate to training,” said Bazinet. “Our company places a high value on giving our team members the skills necessary to implement our therapy plans, which are critical to the health, well-being and successful outcomes of our clients with autism.”
ABA Centers of America provides ABA therapy services for anyone with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We can help clients in their homes, our centers, schools, or anywhere in the community. ABA Centers of America is the Northeast’s fastest-growing ABA provider, with multiple locations in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. For more information about ABA Centers of America, visit www.abacenters.com.