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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Paper Session #563
International Applications of ABA for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Monday, May 25, 2020
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 2, Room 202B
Area: AUT
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Valeria Parejo (Changing Behavior LLC/Florida Institute of Technology online courses)

Blending Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis and Developmentally Appropriate Practice in a Preschool Program for Children With Autism in China

Domain: Service Delivery
Peishi Wang (Queens College, CUNY), MENGLIN SUN (Beijing Wucailu Center for Children with Autism), Mei Liu (Beijing Wucailu Center for Children with Autism), Lihua Han (Beijing Wucailu Center for Children with Autism), Hyun Min Lee (K-1st Grade Special Education Teacher, New York City Public Schools 212 Queens School of CyberScience and Literacy)

The field of applied behavior analysis (ABA) is still in its infancy in China. Scientifically sound curricula for preschoolers with autism is severely lacking. The purpose of this presentation is to highlight key outcomes of an ongoing collaboration project between a private preschool, Wucailu Center for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Beijing and the early childhood special education teacher training program at Queens College, City University of New York. The collaboration began in 2011. The lead author, who is a faculty member in the teacher preparation program, took a small group of graduate students in the early childhood special education program and completed a six-week internship at Wucailu. Since then, the teachers from Beijing and the graduate students from New York jointly created a culturally responsive and developmentally appropriate curriculum that blends the principles of ABA and developmentally appropriate practice for the preschool for the entire school year. Thematic units were developed and delivered via multi-sensory based instructional activities, with opportunities for choice making, peer socialization, and independent living skills development. To meet the diverse needs of children with ASD, instructional and assistive technology were integrated throughout the routines. To date, 20 graduate students from four different cohorts (2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017) and 28 Chinese teachers have participated in this 6-week internship experience. Other outcomes included 1) establishment of formal structures for curriculum planning and differentiation by the Chinese teachers, 2) implementation of routines-based interventions and ongoing progress monitoring, and 3) a mechanism created for ongoing professional development for the teachers.


Experiences of Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorderin Africa: Implications for Research and Practice

Domain: Service Delivery
JANE PAUL (Excella Developmental Services, California Pan African Congress on Autism)

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disability that is characterized by difficulties in social communication, restrictive and repetitive behaviors and interests. Signs of ASD appears early in the child’s early development. While autism is said to occur uniformly across cultures, little is known regarding the experiences of caregivers in the African region who generally lack proper assessment, diagnosis and intervention. This study sought to explore experiences of caregivers of ASD parents and their help-seeking behaviors. An online survey was launched and distributed to African parents who were part of Pan African Congress on Autism. The survey was shared on 3 FB pages that are made up of parents of children with ASD. Participants came from 18 different African countries. The survey contained 21 questions and 155 parents/caregivers from 18 African countries. The purpose of the study was to understand the experiences of African caregivers of children with autism from the point they notice the first signs to diagnosis, intervention and education. The study also sought to understand help-seeking behaviors and struggles faced by caregivers. The participants included 125 boys and 31 girls. Age range of ASD individuals ranged from 18 months to 30 years of age. Out of 155 caregivers, 96% of caregivers noticed the early signs when their children were between ages 18 months-23 months; 24% noticed first signs between 24 months-35 months, 28% noticed between 0 and 35 months. In this pilot study, it is obvious that African parents are recognizing the early signs quite early. The question however, remains, why does the prognosis remain poor? Results, implications and direction for practice and future research will be discussed.

Replicability of Principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis in Kenya: A Long-Term Study
Domain: Service Delivery
POOJA PANESAR (Kaizora Centre for Neurodevelopmental Therapies), Korey Taylor (Global Autism Project)
Abstract: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is recognized by the World Health Organization as a growing global concern affecting 1 in 160 children worldwide; yet the majority of our understanding comes from North America and Western Europe. Given the prevalence of research coming out of these regions, there is an inherent Westernized model of understanding Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and the corresponding health care (Fong et al., 2016). However, the methodologies and principles of the science have proven to be successful when applied in culturally relevant ways. This presentation will cover how ABA can be culturally relevant in Africa by demonstrating the success Kaizora has shown with staff, students, and parent trainings. We have compiled VB-MAPP scores across milestones, barriers, echoics and barriers for over 10 students (ages 4 to 14) over the course of 5 years (2014-2019) all diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. All sessions took place in a one-on-one setting at Kaizora in Karen, Kenya. Therapists implemented evidence-based interventions including, but not limited to, token economies, behavioral momentum, error correction, fluency training, Direct Instruction, discrete trial teaching, incidental teaching and schedules of reinforcement. With the implementation of evidence-based interventions all students showed an improvement in all areas of the VB-MAPP scores over a period of time (multiple assessments conducted). Cultural factors will be discussed along with training efficacy.

Case Study in International Dissemination and Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Partnering With Brazilian Not-for-Profit Clinic

Domain: Service Delivery
VALERIA PAREJO (Changing Behavior LLC/Florida Institute of Technology online courses), Celisabel Caldevilla (Changing Behavior LLC)

The purpose of this presentation is to illustrate a way to disseminate ABA internationally with limited resources, by building working relationships with local partners to foster good service provision to the local population. A ABA Miami-based company partnered up with a not-for-profit organization in São Paulo, Brazil, whose mission is to serve children and adults with Autism, providing educational, speech, physical, and occupational therapy. Staff at the non-for-profit came from a variety of fields (psychology, education, speech pathology, etc.) and had minimal understanding of behavior principles. Through the partnership with the US-based company, basic training in ABA was provided to all staff working in the organization, ongoing clinical consultation was secured for the most challenging cases, and management is receiving OBM consultation to improve work practices and increase the quality of work life for the staff. This consultation model empowers the local partners to provide free quality services to the population and disseminate best ABA practices in their region by training their staff and being a practicum site for various local universities. A replication of this model is planned for 2020 in a nearby town, with support from local municipalities.




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