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.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Symposium #215
Introducing Applied Behavior Analysis in Novel Cultural Contexts
Sunday, May 24, 2015
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
217B (CC)
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Nidal K. Najjar Daou (American University of Beirut)
Discussant: Lise Renat Roll-Pettersson (Department of special education)

The numerous advancements in applied behavior analysis (ABA) seem to be centered in urban areas of developed countries, while there continues to be a shortage of behavioral-based intervention elsewhere. Nevertheless, the favorable manner through which behavior analysts view ABA and its value in autism intervention has prompted them to develop innovative opportunities for dissemination. This symposium offers examples of empirical studies that were concerned with such dissemination of behavioral intervention in a developing country (Lebanon) and a rural area in Iceland. Neither cultural context had systems that supported or facilitated the use of ABA in autism intervention. The Lebanon study used activity schedules to promote independent engagement among children with autism never offered ABA services prior to or outside the context of its research sessions. The rural-Iceland study used telehealth methods to provide effective behavioral consultation for families of children with autism. Both presentations discuss the particulars of their respective cultural contexts in terms of the status of ABA in autism intervention, and in terms of limitations and future directions relevant for behavioral research and practice in places with limited access to behavior-analytic services.

Keyword(s): Behavioral intervention, Developing countries, Rural areas
Conducting Behavioral Research with Children Attending Non-Behavioral Intervention Programs for Autism in Lebanon
NIDAL K. NAJJAR DAOU (American University of Beirut)
Abstract: Behavioral intervention has been recommended as one of the top empirically validated, effective interventions for autism spectrum disorders. It is, however, undersupported and only scarcely available in developing countries. In this presentation, we will take a look at one such country, Lebanon, examine the status of applied behavior analytic (ABA) services there, and offer an example of how behavioral research could be conducted in such a context. The presentation will show how behavior-analytic services were introduced to children with autism who had not received ABA services and who learned prerequisite skills necessary for independent engagement during the course of the study. In the reported empirical study, a multiple-baseline design across participants evaluated the effectiveness of treatment on independent engagement in leisure activities. Treatment included the use of photographic activity schedules, reinforcement, prompting, and backward chaining, and it demonstrated systematic increases in independent engagement across the three participants. The presentation will also include a discussion of particulars concerning the dissemination of ABA as an innovation in a novel context, limitations, and future directions of relevance to researchers and practitioners in developing countries with limited access to behavior-analytic services.

Rural Behavioral Consultation: An Analysis of the Effects of Telehealth Methods on the Progress of Families of Children with Autism

KRISTÍN GUDMUNDSDOTTIR (University of Akureyri), Z. Gabriela Sigurdardottir (University of Iceland), Shahla Susan Ala'i-Rosales (UNT)

Despite documented effectiveness of systematic early behavioral intervention to improve functioning of children with autism and other developmental disabilities, not all children and their families have access to such interventions and the expertise required for success. One example is children and their families living in rural areas of the world. In order to increase services, numerous internet-based programs and services have been established, utilizing telehealth methods. However, evidence regarding the effectiveness of telehealth methods is very limited. This paper presents a study of the effects of telehealth methods employed on the outcomes of behavioral consultation with families of children with autism living in rural Iceland. The experimental design was a multiple baseline across parent and child skills, replicated across 5 families. Both qualitative (interviews, field notes regarding method and outcomes) and quantitative (frequency of teaching episodes, frequency of targeted child responses, intervals of synchronous engagement) data were collected and analyzed. The intervention involved parent training of basic teaching interactions primarily conducted through telecommunication methods. The results show measurable progress for parents and children across all skill areas and are discussed in the context of access to evidence-based methods for children living in Iceland and other rural areas in the world.




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