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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W12
CE Offered: BACB — 
Diversity submission Serving Diverse Clients: Broader Cultural Impacts and Service Considerations for the Field
Thursday, May 26, 2022
4:00 PM–7:00 PM
Meeting Level 1; Room 152
Area: EDC/VRB; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Neil Deochand, Ph.D.
NEIL DEOCHAND (University of Cincinnati), JAMES HAWKINS (University of Cincinnati), MACK S. COSTELLO (Rider University)
Description: As the field of ABA grows its behavioral practitioners are more likely to work with culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) clients and families. Unfortunately, there are minimal guidelines (at least from ABA) on how to develop the skills and practices surrounding cultural competency, and there is no required coursework covering culturally responsive behavioral therapy in the verified course sequence (Fong & Tanaka, 2013). There is data that many behavior analysts consider themselves moderately or extremely skilled when working with CLD learners, even without CEU training, employer trainings or explicit coursework related to working with CLD learners (Beaulieu et al., 2019). It seems that the assumption of the generality of behavioral principles has led to the foregone conclusion that behavior analysts can tap into the infinite combinations within the behavioral stream even when they only have a snapshot of their client behavior in one context. A culturally informed behavior plan requires searching for the “missing pieces” within the client’s cultural ecosystem. Individualized assessment sometimes requires an analysis on group interactions, client cultural preferences, active self-assessment of our own values, beliefs, and behaviors (and in multiple contexts). This requires us to pay particular attention to cultural practices whether they are culinary preferences, religious preferences, person-person interactions, or gift-giving. No single person or field is expected to get every element that relates to effective practice correct from the outset, but they must build an evolving framework that is self-corrective. This workshop will encourage attendees to develop their own personal guide to cultural competence, while using real and hypothetical case examples to challenging us to see there are many trajectories to culturally responsive care. Participants should be able to build their own CEU content for the agencies so that they can ensure that they are actively preparing new certificants to deliver culturally competent services.
Learning Objectives: (1) Develop a process for managing a social faux pas graciously, and engaging in continuous self-monitoring process for behaviors not targeted in a behavior plan, but relate to “soft clinical skills” and client satisfaction. (2) Develop a systematic intake process prior to meeting any family but particularly families from another culture. Behavior analysts should know from intake their client's preferred language, name pronunciation, social preferences, as well as become familiar with expected cultural norms by conducting a records review or phone interview to avoid damaging the therapeutic relationship. (3) Be able to discuss actionable steps in developing a personal development plan focused on building a cultural competency guideline. Participants should prepare to be supervisors that are able to actively prepare learning opportunities on culturally competent care for their supervisees before they encounter challenges that limit their access to broader populations. (4) At the conclusion of the presentation participants will be able to create an inclusive environment, and work with multi-disciplinary teams, including translators, to serve the needs of diverse families.
Activities: Participants will learn how to conduct a preliminary review of culturally relevant variables which could influence early family interactions, reinforcer selection, assessment conditions, and goal setting. Participants will learn when developing culturally informed best practices that these require an active self-assessment of their own personal values, beliefs, and behaviors. Case scenarios are offered where a cultural lens is required in order to deliver effective behavioral services, and to facilitate discussion on this topic. A round-table discussion will be used to tap into the experiences of the participants in determining what could be useful for developing a staff training on culturally competent care for their supervisees. A mix of video and lecture material will be used to demonstrate how ABA services can be delivered in a multicultural context, and how these services can be continuously improved. This workshop is presented at a basic instruction level, and is intended for a broad audience.
Audience: Board Certified Behavior Analysts - Doctoral (BCBA-D) Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA)
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): cultural diversity, linguistic communities, perspective taking, social justice



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