Registered Behavior Technicians: Helping Those on the Autism Spectrum
In March of 2020, Carroll Community College introduced its Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) certificate program. Developed and taught by Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Holly Bennett, the program is essential to train credentialed providers in an area that has been long underserved—the autism community.
“Currently there is an 81% shortage in providers in the country to provide applied behavior analysis (ABA) services,” Bennett said.
In 2021, the CDC reported that approximately 1 in 44 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASDs are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges
The Role of the Registered Behavior Technician
Certified RBTs, working primarily with individuals on the autism spectrum in home, community and school settings, encourage socially acceptable behaviors in these individuals, as well as build and improve upon their communication, social interaction and problem-solving skills.
“The RBT is a great credential to use as a stepping stone to get your BCBA certification and/or to start a career,” Bennett said. “It pays a great living wage and gives you an opportunity to help individuals and their families in a way that is evidence-based and proven to be effective for individuals on the autism spectrum.”
As a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who owns her own applied behavior analysis (ABA) company, Bennett conducts assessments, develops learners programs and supervises RBTs. She has created many ABA programs for credentialed RBTs to implement themselves. “We support families in their homes, schools and our clinic setting,” Bennett said. “We are in all of the main counties: Howard, Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Montgomery, Carroll, Frederick and Harford.”
The RBT is a great credential to use as a stepping stone to get your BCBA certification and/or to start a career.
An In-Demand Program for an In-Demand Career
Carroll’s Registered Behavior Technician training program, created in response to the high demand for RBTs, prepares students to take the Registered Behavior Technician certification examination, a nationally recognized paraprofessional certification in behavior analysis.
Bennett’s RBT students reap the benefits of her breadth of real-world experience. “I share anecdotes, scenarios and provide opportunities for the RBT students to get hands-on experience under my supervision,” Bennett explained.
The program not only helps students acquire the skills and knowledge they need to become an RBT, but also offers networking opportunities in the field. “It’s a great opportunity to meet and share information and experiences with other professionals with similar interests, morals and values,” Bennet said.