In the Czech Republic, as with many countries in Central and Eastern Europe, practices rooted in the science of applied behavior analysis (ABA) have had to fight to gain ground since the area's relatively recent rise from communist oppression. While there are services (e.g., early care centers, specialized schools, etc..), they customarily provide low intensity care or non-evidenced treatments. Generally speaking, governments have historically spent their limited public resources on unvalidated services. Unfortunately, the voice of science has been underused in selecting education or social services. As a result, the region has struggled amid the landscape of an ABA service desert, being plagued by misinformation, hosting overworked and under supported behaviors analysts, missing necessary funding, and facing the backlash of threatened professionals from other disciplines. Regardless, driven advocates of ABA have successfully propelled dissemination and built quality practical applications over the last decade. This presentation shares the burgeoning ABA projects of the region looking at: (1) the local Technology Agency of the Czech Republic's (TACR) two year ABA telehealth project, (2) the European Union Erasmus+ supported collaborative projects in ABA as EuroBA, the A Class, and Positive Parenting, and (3) a glimpse of the Czech Republic's process of legally recognizing the profession of behavior analyst. Discussing this modern trajectory of the science, including potential roadmaps for the advancement of ABA in similar locales, the development of culturally competent and sustainable practices, and applied research outcomes, aims to inspire not only those supporting ABA development beyond North America and Western Europe, but also those looking to reflect on best ethical practices in telehealth, caregiver training, teacher training, and practitioner standards.
Behavior analytic professionals currently working in, or planning to work in, areas where there is a dearth of ABA services. Behavioral professionals looking to reflect on best ethical practices in telehealth, caregiver training, teacher training, and practitioner standards.
|Dr. Sheri Kingsdorf is an Assistant Professor at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic and a doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D). Since 2002, she has actively worked in the fields of behavior analysis and special education. Her endeavors have included working in the Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling (CABAS) model, teaching in the US public school system in conjunction with her studies at Columbia University in New York City and the University of Miami in Miami-Dade County, providing early intervention services to a bilingual student population, delivering behavior analytic home-based and school-based direct and consultative care across the US, Australia, Africa, and Europe, educating youth and adults from diverse and underserved communities, consulting with adult service providers assisting clients with developmental disabilities, and making international transdisciplinary research contributions. Her current work focuses on utilizing culturally competent and sustainable practices in advancing the field of ABA in underserved locales, developing telehealth models for client-centered caregiver training, and supporting the emotional and behavioral health of school-aged children through teacher education.