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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.

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Ninth International Conference; Paris, France; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #97
CE Offered: BACB
Considerations for International Applied Behavior Analysis Service Delivery
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
Studio DE, Niveau 2
Area: CSS/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Pamela Olsen, Ph.D.
Chair: Pamela Olsen (The New England Center for Children - Abu Dhabi)
Discussant: Atli F. Magnusson (The Diagnostic and Counselling Center)
Abstract: Applied Behavior Analysis services are increasingly delivered in locations outside of North America. Providing ABA services to diverse populations in international settings creates substantial challenges for Behavior Analysts. Among the many practical challenges are those related to language and communication; integrating local social, cultural, and religious practices into intervention; advocacy and efforts to increase awareness of disabilities; local regulation, government relations, and government support for services; and availability of qualified local personnel. Each of these challenges must be considered when developing and delivering ABA services outside one's own familiar area. In this symposium, presenters will discuss considerations related to these challenges as experienced during service delivery in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and India. Sharifa Yateem will discuss advocacy, government relations, and establishing linkages with higher education institutions. She will also describe her experience establishing the UAE-ABA Affiliated Chapter. Saleh Shaalan will discuss factors that lead to adoption of a bilingual ABA curriculum. He will also present data on a longitudinal study of bilingual vocabulary acquisition in children with autism. Amber Mandler and Amy Atwell will present challenges and successes in establishing ABA services in Kuwait and India, respectively.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): bilingualism, culture, dissemination
Establishing Sustainable Services: It Takes More Than a Village
SHARIFA YATEEM (New England Center for Children), Daniel Gould (New England Center for Children - Abu Dhabi)
Abstract: A frequently-heard expression is that it "takes a village" to raise a child. But for a child with autism, it takes more than a village. To establish effective and sustainable autism services requires the involvement of individuals, organizations, and government authorities. Program developers, parents, practitioners, and government must all be involved in program development to ensure long-term viability. Autism services often cross government agency boundaries as well: health, education, social affairs, higher education, and even immigration authorities (when hiring expatriates) may be involved. This places a special challenge on program developers, who must be aware of regulations and policies of all concerned government entities. Advocacy for autism services often begins with parents but may also involve practitioners and program representatives. This presentation will include information about the various agencies that helped support the creation of an effective and sustainable autism program in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, as well as a description of the establishment of the UAE ABAI Affiliated Chapter.
Bilingual Delivery of Applied Behavior Analysis Services in the United Arab Emirates: The New England Center for Children-Abu Dhabi Experience
Saleh Shaalan (The New England Center for Children - Abu Dhabi), KERRY EGAN (The New England Center for Children - Abu Dhabi), Daniel Gould (New England Center for Children - Abu Dhabi), Pamela Olsen (The New England Center for Children - Abu Dhabi)
Abstract: When the New England Center for Children-Abu Dhabi started its in 2007, a decision was made to implement bilingual service delivery, where children receive ABA services in both English, the lingua franca of UAE and the medium of instruction of the NECC parent program in the US, and Emirati Arabic, the native language of most of our clients. This policy raised concerns among families and professionals due to the common practice of limiting exposure of children with ASD to one language only. We discuss the rationale for our policy and the different cultural, linguistic, and other practical factors that we considered when implementing this policy. We also present evidence from the literature on bilingualism in children with ASD and from our own research that justifies our position on bilingual exposure in ASD. The findings of our longitudinal study of our bilingually exposed students show that a bilingual ABA-based intervention has no detrimental effects on the dominant language(s) of our students. These findings support the growing body of literature that finds no evidence for the common practice of recommending the exposure of children with ASD who come from bilingual backgrounds to one language only.
Supporting a Sustainable Applied Behavior Analysis-Based Program in Kuwait
AMBER MANDLER (ABC Kuwait), Heather Busch (ABC Kuwait)
Abstract: The first center in Kuwait to provide services to children with autism opened over 20 years ago. In the past two decades, the number and quality of centers has gradually increased. In the past six years, Applied Behavior Analysis has become more known and utilized in the country. The practice of ABA in Kuwait faces resistance; however, there is a growing base of support from parents and schools who see positively correlated progress in the children for whom they care. Increasing independence for one child improves the quality of life for a family, making it more likely for them to share their hope and progress with others. As support grows and social stigmatization decreases, service delivery can be tailored better to meet the needs of individuals. Community outreach, school collaboration, and parent education are among the successful practices to be discussed in this symposium. A synthesis of past and current barriers to progress will also be presented, with suggestions for future development.
ACE-India: Challenges and Successes
AMY ATWELL (New England Center for Children), Tiffany Dubuc (New England Center for Children), Whitney Hammel (ACE India)
Abstract: Applied Behavior Analysis continues to grow and gain recognition worldwide, and India is no exception. The development of ABA service-delivery centers based on best practices continues to come with challenges and successes. Multiple considerations need to be taken into account well before a center can open its doors to providing an ABA based service delivery model. These challenges may include staffing, training, public awareness, parent involvement, and the actual services being offered (e.g., Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech and Language). Each of these challenges will be discussed along with strategies and solutions, based on our experience setting up and delivering ABA services in India. Local and cultural considerations will also be discussed along with how each challenge is currently being addressed. With every challenge comes an opportunity for a creative solution, and each solution sets a foundation for the next. These solutions as well as future considerations provide a framework for the development of ABA service delivery internationally.



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