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RAPID Skills Training | RST

Behavioral Observations Podcast Session #57:

Rapid Skills Training (RST)


You can subscribe to the @behavioralobervations podcast with Matt Cicoria to get access to new stimulating talk for today’s behavior analyst!


What is RAPID Skills Training (RST) and Who Benefits?

RAPID skills are critical social interaction skills that caretakers should competently master to criteria. Caretakers who master this program can properly label and discuss each skill individually and in combination, in a nontechnical, vernacular manner after the environmental circumstances have already occured. In other words, give a meaningful interpretation of why they were engagement in one or a combination of the five critical RAPID skills (ie., the who, what when, where and why). This becomes easier and easier with practice. Initially frequent daily practice is combined with professional coaching from a qualified professional. In order to create meaningful daily interactions with their loved ones, that reduces stress levels and increase overall quality of life on a daily basis, these five critical skills must be learned in a controlled coaching setting as well as various generalized contextually relevant naturalistic environments with their loved one. Therefore, before additional and/or more advanced prescriptive behavioral change programs (ie, see RST Phase IV) are designed, we must first complete the initial learning. This is consistent with most evidence based approaches to behavior change and many can participate in the RST agenda. There are no exemption from participation as long as the caretaker is committed to the change, teaching and learning made available to them through this lifestyle changing program designed specifically for them and their family. Those who can benefit from this approach include but isn’t limited to the lists below:

  • Students, Learners & Other Program Participants, Classmates or Peers 
  • Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Siblings
  • Direct Care Professionals (DSPs or RBTs), Caretakers (sitters or daycare)
  • Teachers, Principles, Administrators, 1:1 Aids in Schools or Communities
  • Family Home Providers (FHPs), 1:1 Au Pairs
  • Anyone Responsible for Daily Activities of a Loved One, Student or Program Participant
  • MDs, PhDs, BCBAs, LCSWs, LPCs, LPAs, and other Licensed Behavior-Health Professionals

RST is a user friendly, doable program:

Anyone responsible for daily interactions and activities of a loved one with difficult to manage behavioral challenges can learn critical interaction skills. Providing a doable lifestyle change for improving happiness in life. We do not recommend implementing any individualized program or any type of “behavior skills training” or “behavior alteration” program without professional consultation from a qualified behavior-health professional. The RAPID Skills Training (RST) exercise guides located in the links above require specific competency, professional coaching, feedback, regular daily practice and consultative oversight from a qualified behavioral health professional. Initially during RST Phase I, classroom type teaching on the RST program’s definitions and purpose occur with the family in the natural environment (ie., where the behaviors of concern are most likely to be observed). Learning to competence the termanology, purpose and the overall mission is provided in a 1:1 or small group, classroom-type setting. RST Phase II, we focus on proactive measures and practice of each skill. RST Phase III, we focus on reactive measures and practice of each skill. Lastly, Phase IV is provided (only if necessary) and the program is individually advanced based on the outcome data from the previous phases. After successfully completing each Phase of RST the complexity of implementation increases subtly, in the following RST Phase yet, we don’t move forward until mastery & competency has been accomplished. 

This approach can create the foundation for teaching your students, loved ones and program participants’ important functional life skills, needed to live happier and more independently, and important social skills. Simply hearing more words early in life is linked to higher IQ scores, attending and rewarding interactions affect the brain of the learner in positive ways from birth through full development, recovery and/or learning at any age. There are layers of benefits related to learning RST across all environments for families and it’s design is made in simple formats on purpose. Increasing the probability of success as well as, being based on essential principles of errorless learning, the way in which you provide training affects the actual outcomes of the training more than the materials alone. We’ve taken into account variables that affect families (ie, some are outlined in the study below) from crises, marital status, economic strain, mental health barriers, and participation levels. This program is designed to be available 24/7/365 to caretakers and should be viewed as a way of life, not a program per-se… Metaphorically, this is not a diet, it is a way to eat for the rest of your life!


RST is designed for lifestyle change provided in natural environments:

Caretakers must be involved, engaged, participatory and cooperative with programs to achieve outcomes they desire, see the study outlined below as an example of how the number of sessions attended and other factors affect outcomes of treatment programs or training approaches like RST. When caretakers become teachers during naturally occurring activities, learners are more successful, happy and the family experiences a better quality of life together. This helps make each day more enjoyable and fun for everyone! That’s ultimately the goal, right? Happiness is not a tangible product or guarantee. There is a behavioral cost, you must work hard to get better and achieve the results you truly need to be happy. 

RAPID Training (RST) is federally trademarked in The United States of America (USA) as a parent, caretaker, direct support staff, certified teacher & first-responder training program based on principles consistent with “Applied Behavior Analysis” (ABA), “The Power of Positive Parenting” and “Parenting the Strong-Willed Child“. It is absolutely not and far from the debunked “rapid prompting method”, which is a version of the long debunked “facilitated communication (FC)“. Dr. Matt Brodhead explains why FC is pseudoscience and why ABA is the golden standard for training skills. Ultimately, RST provides you with much-needed relief. You’ll learn how to better prevent difficult to manage behavior, keeping your loved one in a position to learn how to adapt to the world around them and live happily. Based on our professional experience over the last two decades, when RST is interwoven into individualized behavior analysis & therapy services, results can be astounding.

It’s well known and documented in respected journals and through peer review, when the family and natural supports are included in the treatment process, results are just simply much better… Again, we do not recommend implementing this RST program or any behavior program without professional consultation from a qualified licensed behavior health professional. The RAPID Skills Training (RST) exercise guides are located in the links above and, require coaching, feedback, practice and oversight from a qualified behavioral health professional. This approach is an interactive, caretaker training package designed from evidence-based models including:

Behavior Skills Training (BST), ShapingDifferential Reinforcement (DR), Non-Contingent Reinforcement (NCR), Direct Instruction (DI), Precision Teaching (PT), Precursor InterventionExtinction and Parent Management Training.

RAPID Skills Training (RST) can be helpful for all caretakers who commit to the programs assignments, and practice under supervision with a behavior health professional qualified to coach them through the RST levels like: parents, caretakers, teachers, nannys, grandparents, aunts, uncles, coaches, policemen, neighbors…


Predictors of Outcome of a Parenting Group Curriculum: A Pilot Study

One pressing issue facing parenting interventions for disruptive behaviors of young children is forecasting who will benefit from participation. The purpose of this study was to examine four personal and interpersonal predictors (i.e., parent depressive symptoms, parent education, coparent conflict, and marital status) of engagement (i.e., number of sessions attended) in and child outcome (i.e., problematic behavior) of a parenting group curriculum program targeting young children’s disruptive behaviors. Participants were 39 parents (34 mothers and 5 fathers; M = 38.6 years) who expressed an interest in improving the behavior of their 3- to 6-year-old child (19 females and 20 males; M = 4.50 years). Findings indicated that one baseline personal variable, parent depressive symptoms, predicted change in child disruptive behavior at follow-up, and two baseline interpersonal variables, marital status and coparent conflict, predicted engagement in treatment (i.e., number of sessions attended). Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

    Click on the figure to read the case study…

Article Information:
Volume: 35 issue: 4, page(s): 370-388
Article first published online: April 19, 2011; Issue published: July 1, 2011

University of Vermont, Burlington

University of Vermont, Burlington,

University of Vermont, Burlington

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Disclaimers:

RST has absolutely nothing to do with Rapid Prompting Method (RPM) , which is scientifically debunked pseudoscience (click anywhere on the word RPM to see more about debunking RPM & Facilitated Communication). We do not recommend implementing the RST program for any behavior program without professional consultation from a qualified licensed behavior-health professional. RST guides are located in the links above, per skill, for a generic outline of how-to-design-your-own-session a (do it yourself) version of directions for learning yet, it should not be used without professional oversight and consultation. Use at your own risk and do not use in the absence of appropriate professional guidance. RST uses an evidence-based model of teaching called behavior skills training (bst) for anyone learning to interact better and/or care for loved ones who are experiencing behavioral disruption(s).