FRC News

The Autism Program introduces a new certification preparation for interns

Tyler Wolpert and Megan Mayer
1/26/2017  2:45 pm

URBANA, Ill. – The Autism Program (TAP) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a community-focused program that aids families and professionals by providing support to individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), their families, and other professionals in the community. Each semester, TAP welcomes a team of 10 to 12 diligent and hardworking interns who come from a variety of University of Illinois departments such as Human Development and Family Studies, Special Education, Speech and Hearing Science, Psychology, and the School of Social Work.

The group of interns gains experience through providing resource and referral services and creating custom materials for parents and professionals in the program’s resource room. TAP is now supporting interns to take their education one step farther by offering training to prepare them for Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) certification administered by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Registered Behavior Technicians are front-line staff who work directly with families and clients to implement a plan for teaching or changing behavior. The intense online program the students will go through and the supervision they receive toward certification is a great way to ensure high standards among professionals working with individuals with ASD.

The program’s online training will incorporate more than 30 course modules in areas like measurement, assessment, skill acquisition, behavior reduction, documentation, and professional conduct. Once certified, RBTs will be responsible for implementing the behavior plans created by Board Certified Behavior Analysts.

Receiving certifications that go beyond traditional studies can be costly, which may be an inhibitor to many students. TAP, which gets funding from the Illinois Department of Human Services and the FRC, has underwritten the additional cost of the certification training for their group of interns.

TAP interns—like senior Brittany Silvers, a Speech Language Pathology student—are looking forward to the RBT certification preparation. “I am very excited that we’re being given the opportunity to undergo a training program in order to become an RBT,” says Silvers. “The additional training will help provide important skills that will go on to benefit me in the field of Speech Pathology, while working with clients who may have some challenging behaviors."

Ultimately, providing this type of training will help ensure that families and individuals with ASD receive the highest standards of care using methods that have been proven to be effective.

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