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.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #123A
CE Offered: BACB
Cutting the Red Tape: Cultural Barriers to Implementing ABA Services in Brazil
Sunday, May 28, 2023
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Convention Center Four Seasons Ballroom 1
Area: PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Paula Kenyon (Northeastern University and Grupo Método)
CE Instructor: Susan Wilczynski, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: MECA ANDRADE (Grupo Metodo)
Abstract: Having 10 years of experience in Brazil, starting with public services and evolving to private practice, the author will identify some critical different between Brazil and the United States that affect regulation, cultural practices, and values. The history of Behavior Analysis in Brazil points to a solid experimental base developed in the 60s and 70s with strong Brazilian scientists and collaboration with such people as Fred Keller and Murray Sidman, to name a few. The incredible amount of knowledge produced during these years was unfortunately restricted to universities, with a focus on experimental, theoretical, and philosophical practice. Applied Behavior Analysis services, as we know them, did not arrive in Brazil until mid-late 90s. The author received all ABA training in the United States and came back to Brazil in 2012, having training in both experimental and applied settings. Having had her BCBA for 10 years at the time, she quickly understood that there were cultural barriers to implementing ABA services in Brazil. With that knowledge, she allowed her certification lapse with the understanding that regulation in Brazil would not work with American governance, as Brazilian professions are regulated by the federal government, with branches such as CFP and CRP, which do not require specialization in ABA, allowing any psychologist to implement ABA without training. Participants attending this talk will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of creating practices that are culturally appropriate when entering countries outside the United States.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Practitioners of ABA

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Understand the history of behavior analysis in a developing country, and how it guides practice; (2) Identify critical practices that may not be readily available in developing countries and how to adapt to such reality; (3) Describe cultural sensitive practices when entering countries different than the US
MECA ANDRADE (Grupo Metodo)
Meca Andrade is a Psychologist in Brazil. She was a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst from 2001 to 2013. Throughout her career, she led important projects delivering ABA services in the US, Uganda, and Brazil. Meca published in Brazilian and American Journals. She also co-authored the National Guidelines for Autism Services along with Federal Regulators and other Health professionals in Brazil. Meca is the founder of one of the largest ABA companies in Brazil, serving students in five clinics in São Paulo, and one in Porto Alegre, in addition to providing telehealth services across 17 other States in Brazil. She has developed the first physical management program in the country and ran an important project in the State Hospital in São Paulo, and trained State employees on Autism Care.



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