Nicole Kurtz, Author at Cultivate Behavioral Health & Education - ABA Therapy | Page 2 of 9

Paper Airplane Distance Experiment

Below you will find 4 different designs of common paper airplanes. The goal of this experiment is to test which design is the best at long distance flight.

A few of the designs have some added features that can be added to all planes such as square folded noses and wing spoilers. Feel free to mix in those features as you wish.

After you fold all 4 planes, take them to a long clear hallway and test out throwing each.

Make sure to keep track of each plane’s distance so that you can decide which design is best for long distance flight!

Items needed:

  • 4 individual pieces of paper – 8.5 inches by 11 inches
  • Optional – Tape

Calming Find-It Bottle Craft

Items needed:

  • 1 empty water bottle
  • 1 cup of either
    • Rice
    • Bird Seed
    • Colored Beads
  • 1 Black Bead
  • 1 Yellow Bead
  • 6 Animal erasers
  • Optional: any small items you have lying around, some examples are:
    • Paper Clip
    • Pen cap
    • Paper fastener
    • Eraser
    • Rock
    • Sun flower seed


  1. Start by removing the water bottle label and emptying the water. Make sure to save the cap.
    1. Conservation Tip: House plants can always use the extra water.
  2. Collect all the little “nick nacks” and items you would like to hide in the bottle.
  3. Measure out 1 cup of rice/bird seed/or colored beads.
  4. Using a funnel or rolled piece of paper, pour half of the rice into the bottle.
  5. Add all the items into the bottle.
  6. Pour in the remaining rice.
  7. Cap the water bottle.
  8. Shake and begin your Search!

Searching Tip:

  • Rolling the bottle on the side slowly will allow the items to over around easier.

Cultivate Celebrates Autism Acceptance Month

To celebrate Autism Acceptance Month, Cultivate Behavioral Health & Education hosted its inaugural Autism Awareness and Acceptance Walk on April 3rd. Over 150 people signed up from across the country to run, walk, or hike wearing BLUE to shine a light on Autism acceptance. In the process, our participants helped raise donations for the Autism Society, which is a network that annually supports 600,000+ individuals and families through education, advocacy, information & referrals, support, and by building community. Thank you so much to everyone who participated and helped make our first annual walk/run event a success! 

Additionally, Cultivate Behavioral Health and Education is proud to have coordinated the donation of over 500 pounds of canned, dry goods, and diapers to multiple local food pantries across the nation, including the San Antonio Food Bank, Tinley Park Food Pantry, Mid-South Food Bank, and more. Partnering with local food banks and collecting donations encourages our communities to get involved in the fight to end hunger. Everyone’s support puts wholesome food on the tables of hungry children, families, and seniors. Thanks to all the generous donors who participated in our Autism Acceptance Month Food Drive! 

Cultivate provides individualized ABA services to children and adolescents in their homes, our learning centers, and throughout our community. We incorporate play and motivation to make socially significant changes in the lives of every child and family we meet. This means we celebrate autism and embrace the diversity it adds to our community. We are here to support each child in a way that gives them the tools to navigate the rest of their lives in a meaningful and independent manner.

Our team is dedicated to providing resources to better serve you.

If you or someone you know could benefit from our services and resources, please share this post. If you are currently seeking an ABA provider, contact us today to connect with our Community Outreach Team.

Your Path to Becoming a Registered Behavior Technician

Have you ever considered becoming a Registered Behavior Technician?  So many of us after COVID have been contemplating jumpstarting a new career.  Today, we would love to shine a spotlight on one of the most crucial pieces to our well-oiled Cultivate machine – the Registered Behavioral Technician.  If you love helping children grow into the best version of themselves while having the patience and consistency to walk along side them while they strive to reach their goals, pursuing a career in ABA Therapy as a Registered Behavioral Technician might be the perfect career path for you!

What is ABA Therapy?

Applied Behavior Analysis is essentially the science of learning and behavior.  It is the only type of therapy recognized as medically necessary for people with Autism.  ABA Therapy at Cultivate focuses on play-based, positive reinforcement of productive and helpful behavior in real-life scenarios.  For example, asking for something you want, appropriately responding to a question, playing acceptably with peers, all while decreasing unproductive behaviors.

What is a Registered Behavior Technician?

An RBT is a Registered Behavioral Technician as recognized and certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).  RBT’s work under the direct supervision of a BCBA, BCaBA, or FL-CBA, which are all undergraduate and graduate level Behavior Analysts.  RBT’s at Cultivate collaborate with experts within the field of ABA Therapy to implement and execute goal-oriented treatment plans, individualized for each child participating in our program.  They play a crucial role in the development of social skills, critical thinking, problem solving, boundary setting, communication, nutrition, self-care, hygiene, and so much more!

What qualifications does an RBT need to have?

Becoming an RBT can be done by completing the following:

  • Obtain a High School Diploma
  • Complete a 40-hour training program
  • Complete a competency assessment
  • Complete the RBT Certification Application
  • Pass the RBT Exam

Through Cultivate, you will receive training, supervision by a BCBA, and a supportive community throughout the process of obtaining your certification.  For a comprehensive overview of the requirements to become a Registered Behavior Technician given by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, please visit

What does a day in the life of a Registered Behavior Technician look like?

Life as an RBT is a rewarding and ever changing career that is far from dull and boring. One thing for certain: this job is incredibly rewarding. This blog by RBT Maren Clark describes what a day in the life of an RBT looks like. 

Interested in joining our team? Visit our careers page to check out our open positions around the country.

Parent Training: The Principles of Pairing

This week in our Parent Training series, we will be introducing the concept of pairing. The powerpoint presentation below provides audio narration for accessibility. Clink on the link below to follow along.

Parent Training: Pairing

Training Outline

In today’s discussion we will talk about what pairing is, how to pair, why it is important, and finally going through some scenarios of what pairing looks like.

Pairing is a way to establish yourself as a reinforcer for your child. Some people may also refer to this as building a rapport. During the pairing process, you want to establish yourself with things your child finds enjoyable.

How to Pair

When pairing with your child, there are a few important things to remember. First you want to keep your demands low. Asking them questions is considered a form of demand, so simple things such as “what are you playing with?”, “can you show mommy your toy?” and “show me what the car can do,” are all considered demands. Keep those minimal by complimenting those behaviors rather than asking questions.

Let your child take the lead. If they’re playing with dinosaurs, play dinosaurs with them rather than trying to get them to play with Legos or or a dollhouse instead. Be a giver by providing your child with preferred items and activities. If they’re building a really awesome Lego tower, give them some other cool Legos to build along with it.

Tell them all the great things you see them doing. This can include things like “I love how you’re playing,” “you’re sharing so nicely,” and “what a cool Lego tower.” And don’t forget, be silly and fun!

Why Is Pairing Important?

Next I want to spend some time talking about the importance of pairing. Pairing can lead to increased cooperation, compliance, and willingness to engage across activities and environments. When you’re working on pairing with your child, it’s important to work this across multiple activities such as play time, story time, and even meal times as well as different environments which can include their bedroom, playroom, kitchen and maybe even the park.

Pairing can also lead to a decrease in target behaviors because you will be working to establish appropriate behaviors that you wish for your child to continue.

What Does This Look Like?

Now that we’ve outlined some expectations on what pairing should look like, let’s go through a few different examples. In this example, Bobby is playing with Legos. Mom can comment on Bobby’s activities by saying things like “Bobby, I love how you’re playing!” , “What a cool Lego tower!” or “These look so amazing!”

Mom can also give Bobby more legos throughout the play session. As he’s building the tower, mom can hand over a couple of big blocks and then a few small ones. Mom can also help Bobby help build the tower by adding to the activity. Mom can further comment, “Bobby what a cool tower you built!” as he’s completing the activity.

For more scenarios and examples, check out the powerpoint link above.

To Summarize Pairing

Pairing is an effective way to establish yourself as a reinforcer with your child. Keeping demands low is an important step in the pairing process. Remember to keep commenting on the activity rather than asking questions. Think of ways you can add to the activity by providing additional reinforcers, and adding praise statements and comments.

For additional parent trainings on topics such as: crisis management, feeding and sleeping problems, visit our Parent Training page here.

We announce our new community resources on our social media channels as well! Connect with us to stay up to date: