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RBT vs Shadow ABA

In the world is ABA Therapy there are two main types of caregivers for ABA clients. These two types are Registered Behavioral Technicians (RBT) and Shadow ABAs. There are two similar professions but they do have some differences. A shadow is a member of your child's therapy team who can help promote social interactions and academic participation. They can also consult with teachers and other service providers to make the school day more productive. They can also pre-teach or post-teach lessons to help your child learn new skills. As a shadow, you can expect them to provide the necessary support to help your child reach their goals. However, they can also step back when it's not necessary to promote independence. Through fading techniques and strategic prompting, support is gradually reduced over time. RBTs on the other hand, are more systemized. To become an RBT you must be 18 years of age or older, have a high school diploma, pass a background check, complete 40-hour training, complete Initial Competency Assessment, take & pass RBT Exam, receive ongoing supervision, adhere to Ethics, and renew your RBT credentials annually. RBTs assist in delivering behavioral analysis services and practice under the direction of a BCBA/BCaBA supervisor.

RBTs do not develop plans, complete assessments, or train parents or caretakers, they just implement written plans designed by a BCBA/BCaBA. The RBT will follow all protocols for each program or designed intervention. They are a guide just like a Shadow ABA but they monitor the behavior of their clients, implement the plan as written ad collect data.


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