Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #502
International Perspectives on Educational Interventions for Autism
Monday, May 28, 2018
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Grand Hall B
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Michael Miklos (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network)
Discussant: Rachel Kittenbrink (University of Pittsburgh)
CE Instructor: Michael Miklos, M.S.

Applied Behavior Analysis has strongly been associated with American theorists and practitioners. The spread of ABA outside of the United States has seen consistent growth in the past few decades, although it is likely that the application of behavior analysis to school programs for children with autism in many nations is not meeting the needs of children and their families. Efforts have been initiated in multiple nations to begin filling that gap. Included in this session will be descriptions of educational services guided by the principles of ABA in the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, The Czech Republic and the Republic of China. Each presentation will provide a review of the status of efforts to spread behavior analysis to schools in each nation. Francesca degli Espinosa will provide a comparison of educational practices derived from behavior analysis in the United Kingdom with those provided in Italy. Marta Sierocka will discuss recent efforts to expand school based services in both the private segment and in public schools in Poland. Also included will be a discussion of an expansion of training opportunities in ABA. Recent work to establish a public school program in the Czech Republic will be reviewed by Amiris Dipuglia. That review will discuss details of the process of establishing a first public school class and the efforts of advocate parents in conjunction with international support to expand the effort. Finally, Mike Miklos will review a recent raining effort completed in Beijing Province to train a large number of educators on the basics of programming verbal skills for students with autism. Data from that training will be compared with the results of similar competency-based trainings completed with educators in the United States.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Board Certified Behavior Analysts Board Certified Associate Behavior Analysts School Psychologists Educators

Learning Objectives: Participants will: 1. compare the structure and delivery of autism services across Poland, China, Italy, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic. 2. list challenges to the delivery of evidence based educational programs common across the countries used as examples in this presentation. 3. discuss the integration of political, advocacy, training, and certification variables in promoting evidence based practices in school based programs for students with autism.

Development of a Public School Program for Students With Autism in the Czech Republic

AMIRIS DIPUGLIA (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network; Autism Initiative), Michael Miklos (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network)

Over the past four years an effort to develop a public school program based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis has been in progress in the Czech Republic. The first classroom opened it's doors to students in September of 2017 in the city of Prague. That classroom organization adopted in that class is based on a training model developed through the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network. This session will describe the political and behavioral training process which has resulted in a greater acceptance of ABA in public school programs in the Czech Republic. The necessary collaboration between parent advocacy, governmental agencies, various university programs, and the Behavior Analysis Certification Board has occurred. While the advent of single classroom is a milestone, the general goal is to develop a range of services in Czech public schools for students with autism across the country. A review of the initiative toward that end will be presented.


Progress in Poland: Expanding Behavioral Interventions for Autism in School-Based Programs


An increasing advocacy for evidence based interventions for students with autism has occurred in Poland. While there exists a clear right to education for students with disabilities, only recently has Applied Behavior Analysis begun to be incorporated into schools. At the current time, ABA services for children with autism are provided primarily by private schools and agencies. The base of support for ABA in Poland is through non-profit agencies. The movement to expand ABA as a standard for instructional design will be described. Recent legislation regarding the staffing of schools may have significant implications for behavior analysis in school settings. While across Poland, school-based autism interventions continue to be derived from an eclectic menu of intervention models, a dedicated group of professionals are forming coalitions to promote evidence-based practices in the schools. Further refinement of educational regulations and increasing the cohort of Board Certified Behavior Analysts are priorities for the development of behavior analysis in Poland.


ABA and School-Based Autism Intervention: A Brief Comparison Between Two European Countries


In the past fifteen years, several countries in Europe have witnessed an increase in the application of behavioural analytic approaches to education. Although united in a common market, with regards to mainstream and specialist education, great differences exist among the various European countries. For example, in Italy, mainstream education is compulsory, regardless of disability and level of functioning. In the UK, mainstream or specialist school attendance is largely based on parental preference. Irrespective of key differences in the educational systems, in both countries, children with autism and their families face similar challenges in accessing state-funded evidence-based practice. The overwhelming use of TEACCH based approaches, Sensory Integration Therapy and, in some contexts, Facilitated Communication represents a daily challenge for behaviour analysts and the dissemination of scientific approaches to the education of children with autism. Despite such difficulties, particularly in Italy, the certification and practice of ABA have grown significantly in the past 10 years leading to increasing acceptance of behavioural interventions in schools and rehabilitation centres. This presentation will focus on key similarities and differences in the delivery of ABA-based intervention for autism between Italy and the UK and will illustrate some examples of best practice in Italy.


Training Staff to Deliver Effective Autism Services in the Republic of China: A Comparative Review

MICHAEL MIKLOS (Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network), Rachel Kittenbrink (University of Pittsburgh)

The results of a competency-based training completed with over 100 participants in the Beijing Province will be reviewed and compared to performance outcomes for similar groups provided the same training in Pennsylvania. Effective practice is reliant on effective staff training. Large scale training in the skills needed to deliver effective behavioral interventions is developing within the People's Republic of China. Participants at the training in China included mostly teachers, but also various providers of medical services. Access to school based ABA services is often the result of collaboration between medical providers and school services. Included will be a review of training outcome data in relation to participant acquisition of key conceptual skills and the practice of instructional protocols. The session will provide examples of training methodologies including choral responding, guided notes, and guided practice of instructional protocols. Training efforts will be discussed in relation to the overall movement to increase the availability of interventions derived from a behavior analysis for children with autism in China.




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