So, you are working with your first patient! How do you start getting to know them?
Well, this is the same way that we want you to introduce yourself to your patients and get to know them. The first thing that we want you to understand is that your patients are people first! This means you should interact with them the same way you would interact with anyone else.
How should you introduce yourself?
EXAMPLEIf your patient is sitting playing the Wii, join them. If they are playing with clay, sit down and start creating with them.
Hi, Jack Reilly.
Hey, buddy. I brought some toys to play with today.
Is that cool?
OK. You want to play?
You say, what is that?
Banana, that's right. Banana. What else do you see?
Carrots. Good talking.
It is important to establish a positive relationship with your patient. In ABA, we call this “pairing," as we are pairing ourselves with reinforcement as we build rapport with the patient.
Here are different ways to build rapport with your patient:
1. Get to know what the patient enjoys and what activities they like to engage in.
EXAMPLEIf they love to talk about boy bands and music, start off your session discussing your recent music playlist or have a dance party.
What do you want to play with today?
That's what I thought.
Yeah, there you go.
There's trains and tracks.
3. Pair yourself with reinforcement.
EXAMPLEIf your patient loves superheroes, become a superhero! If your patient loves outdoor activities, do the outdoor activities with them.
4. Check in with caregivers and staff, asking them questions such as these:
Hi! Say hi, Jessicas.
It won't be long now.
That's right. Who's this? Who's this?
And who is that?
Who is that?
No, over there. Who is that?
And I totally think he's just aware of a lot of things now. People, people's names.
How has the behaviors been going with dealing with inflexibilities?
He's still a big control guy. He wants it the way he wants it.
In sessions he was very, he'd get very upset.
And he gets upset fast like for reasons that didn't used to upset him. He gets upset fast and then and then once he's upset, everything upsets him.
Why is it important to build rapport? Building rapport is one of the most critical parts of your job as a behavior technician. With a solid relationship or foundation with your patient, you’ll be able to:
|Why build rapport?||It’s critical!|
|When do I build rapport?||All of the time! Not just when you are starting with a patient, but throughout your time with them.|
|Where can I build rapport?||In every session and environment.|
|How do I build rapport?||Having conversation, engaging in activities, observing them, etc.|