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.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #137
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Diversity submission Beyond Translation: Ethnic Disparities on Early Identification and Access to Services of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Saturday, May 29, 2021
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Area: AUT; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Regina A. Carroll (University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe-Meyer Institute)
CE Instructor: Regina A. Carroll, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: CECILIA MONTIEL-NAVA (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley)

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong disorder that affects children and families in several ways. A growing body of research has documented the ways in which racial disparities affect the rate of identification, access and use of services, and relationship with professionals making the diagnoses. In general, Latino children are diagnosed with ASD later in life; usually with more severe symptoms, lower IQs, and more health conditions, compared with non-Latino children. Furthermore, cultural factors can shape how the signs of ASD are conceptualized and how families accept a positive diagnosis, especially how they are affected by stigma. Diminished access to diagnostic services as well as having a caregiver with a non-English primary language can act as barriers to identifying children with ASD, in particular Latino children. This lecture will review current research in health disparities in both early identification and access to services of Latino children with ASD. Research with this underserved population contributes to enhancing diagnosis and identification methods for Latino children with ASD and assessing the unidentified risk factors and barriers to accessing services, hence improving their outcomes.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

researchers, allied health professionals, educators

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss health disparities in children with ASD with race, ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic status, environment, and geography; (2) discuss under-identification of ASD in Hispanic children can result in families not receiving the services they need to improve health outcomes; (3) explain the importance of developing a culturally sensitive model as a way to increase the identification, diagnosis and referral to available services of ASD in Hispanic children.
CECILIA MONTIEL-NAVA (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley)
Dr. Cecilia Montiel-Nava, a bilingual child clinical psychologist, holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Universidad Central de Venezuela (UCV), an M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Loyola University Maryland, and a B.A. in Psychology from the Universidad Rafael Urdaneta (Venezuela). Dr. Montiel-Nava’s research focuses on three topics: 1) Understanding ethnic disparities among children with autism spectrum and neurodevelopmental disorders, 2) Evidence-based interventions that can be carried out by parents of children with developmental delays in underserved populations, and 3) Validity and acculturation of diagnostic instruments. Since 2015, she has been involved with Red Espectro Autista Latinoamerica (Latin American Autism Spectrum Network [REAL]), that aims to foster international collaboration for research in Latin American countries. She is also a member of the WHO/AS team for the implementation and evaluation of WHO Caregivers Skills Training (CST) pilot projects in various countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, India, Peru, Trinidad & Tobago, and Uruguay). Her longer-term goals include developing a package for early identification and early intervention that could be broadly and freely administered in underserved populations in the valley. As a clinician, researcher, and human being, she wants parents to feel that their socio-economic status, ethnicity, or location are not another hurdle to overcome in the road to gain a better outcome for their child. She is an author of two books and more than 45 research reports, articles, and book chapters.



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