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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Symposium #232
Diversity submission Passport Pedagogy: Excellence in Applied Behavior Analysis from China and Italy
Sunday, May 30, 2021
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Translational
Chair: Lin Du (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Discussant: Jeremy H. Greenberg (The Children's Institute of Hong Kong)
CE Instructor: Jeremy H. Greenberg, Ph.D.

This collection of applied and descriptive research studies push our science in China and Italy. The first paper titled All For One And One For All used behavioral observation techniques to determine socially valid performance criterion for attending behaviors in typically developing students during group instruction. The second paper used functional behavior assessment and a conditioning procedure to replace stereotype with toy with a student having autism in an international primary school. The third paper outlines current dimensions of applied behavior analysis research in China. The fourth paper tested the effects of a different intensity CABAS®-based intervention packages using an alternating (ABACA) treatment design for 9 children diagnosed with Autism, aged 2 to 6 years old in Italy.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): aba, autism, china, school
Target Audience:

Designed for Supervisors, Directors, and Administrators

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will understand conditioning reinforcement to replace stereotypy as an effective tactic for students with autism. 2. Participants will be able to name some reference in our field from China. 3. Participants will have an understanding of a CABAS systems approach to a school in Italy.
Diversity submission All For One And One For All: Establishing Social Validity Measures for Inclusion
(Applied Research)
HIU CHING CHEUNG (The Children's Institute of Hong Kong)
Abstract: Inclusion of students with special education needs (SEN) and especially autism spectrum disorder (ASD) into general education curricula is a challenging practice. In recent years, the practice of inclusion has been expanding within the international school community. Outside of the United States, the process of inclusion is developing rapidly due to an ever increasing demand mostly. The demand is fuelled by families and is compounded by the scarcity of international schools with developed programs and inclusive classrooms. Applied Behavior Analysis provides strategies and tactics that support educators and those responsible for inclusion of students SEN and ASD. The purpose of the present study was to use behavioral observation techniques to determine socially valid performance criterion for attending behaviors in typically developing students during group instruction. Direct observations occurred in situ using partial interval recording procedures across typical students across primary grades one through eight, inclusive. Data were collected under two types of conditions, lecture style instruction, and independent desk work for boys and girls across all grades. Results add to our evidence-based criterion that are used to determine the level of services needed, if any, to support our students in the general education setting.
Diversity submission 

Using Functional Behavior Assessment and Conditioning Procedures to Replace Stereotypy in an International School Student With Autism

(Applied Research)
JAMIE SO (The Children's Institute of Hong Kong)

The present study used functional behavior assessment and a treatment package including conditioning of toy play with a student with autism in an international primary school. The functional behavior assessment confirmed that the behaviors were being maintained through automatic reinforcement. The procedure was a partial replication from research conducted with adults and preschool students. Our student was 11 years old and had a long history of stereotypy behaviors and a limited community of reinforcers. This study tested for the external validity of the treatment package.

Diversity submission 

Current Dimensions of Applied Behavior Analysis in China: A Critical Review of Research

(Basic Research)
WEIHE HUANG (Creating Behavioral + Educational Momentum)

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) was introduced into Mainland China at the beginning of the 21st century as a direct result of the rise of autism spectrum disorder. The following decades can roughly be divided into two phases in terms of the development of ABA in China. Phase one was the time period with a focus on dissemination of ABA practice in China and it lasted from 2000 to 2009. In phase two, which lasted from 2010 to the current date, initial research on ABA emerged in China while dissemination of ABA practice continued and accelerated. The objective of this presentation is to critically evaluate ABA studies conducted by Chinese researchers. For this purpose, the author conducted a systematic search for literature on ABA published by Chinese scholars. In this presentation, the author will use seven ABA dimensions (Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968) to measure the quality of the ABA literature and present results from quantitative analysis and qualitative evaluation of empirical studies published by Chinese ABA researchers. The author will also attempt to explain the unique feature of ABA research published by Chinese scholars by analyzing relevant cultural contingencies. Based on these descriptions and analyses, the author will make recommendations for the future development of ABA research in China.

Diversity submission 

Comparing the Effects of Different ABA Interventions for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder During a Pandemic

(Service Delivery)
FABIOLA CASARINI (Scuola delle Stelle)

We tested the effects of a different intensity CABAS®-based intervention packages using an alternating (ABACA) treatment design for 9 children diagnosed with Autism, aged 2 to 6 years old. The study was conducted in a learning and research centre in Italy prior and during the COVID-19 Pandemic, and is still ongoing. The obligation to stop the CABAS® intervention created an opportunity to change the treatment frequency while keeping the treatment integrity for all participants, and provide the experimenters with an opportunity to collect data and compare them on the optimal treatment intensity. Condition A constituted high educational intensity where each participant received 1:1 intervention for 12 hours a week, while Condition B constituted 1:1 intervention for 3 hours a week (during the first lockdown), and during Condition C, intervention was delivered for 6 hours a week (during the second lockdown).The dependent variables in the study were the changes in participant’s ADOS-2 and CARS-2 scores prior and after each treatment change, and participants number of Learn Units to Criterion rate. The early results showed a significant difference between before and after the low-frequency package was implemented, for the total scores and each sub-test of both instruments. So far, results suggest that normative tests, together with individual graphs’analysis, can help differentiate between treatment effectiveness and efficiency for each child. Further research is needed in order to make more generalized conclusions into the optimal intensity of intervention, especially in countries, such as Italy, where children with Autism can’t attend special schools or have insurance-covered intensive treatments.




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