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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #395
CE Offered: BACB
Intercontinental Evaluations in Training Adults and Treating Child Problem Behavior via Telehealth in Their Native Language
Monday, May 29, 2017
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 4E/F
Area: AUT/TBA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Andrew Pierce Blowers (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute)
CE Instructor: Andrew Pierce Blowers, M.S.

Although the number of behavior analysts is increasing in other countries, many families with a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) do not have access to high-quality service providers. However, increases in accessibility to and advances in technology provide a promising solution. This symposium includes three projects that evaluated the effects of training delivered by U.S.-based behavior analysts via telehealth on the accuracy and outcomes of adults implementing evidence-based treatments. Participants included parents and therapists of children with an ASD residing in various European countries. Adults were coached using components of behavioral skills training, including e-learning modules, in-vivo coaching, or a combination of these procedures. Direct-observation measures were used to determine the adults accuracy with implementing the target treatment and decreases in child problem behavior. Across the projects, successful outcomes were obtained. These studies provide evidence supporting the efficacy of behavioral skills training delivered via telehealth, regardless of adults native language and geographical location. These applications also serve as models for increasing access to certified behavior analysts in underserved areas of the world.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): autism, parent training, service delivery, telehealth
Further Analysis of a Web-Based Program for Training Italian Speaking Parents to Implement Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention
(Applied Research)
ANDREW PIERCE BLOWERS (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Megan E Vosters (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Kevin C. Luczynski (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Wayne W. Fisher (University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute), Alessandro Dibari (Associazione Abruzzese Liberi Bambini dall’ Autismo), Daniele Rizzi (Associazione Abruzzese Liberi Bambini dall’ Autismo), Erica Scandurra (Associazione Abruzzese Liberi Bambini dall’ Autismo)
Abstract: As services for children with autism spectrum disorders grow, it is crucial to develop effective and widely accessible parent training procedures. Lack of access to bilingual service providers presents as a barrier to parent training. One approach involves training parents to deliver Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) over the internet via a virtual private network with the aid of a translator. In this way, non-English speaking parents can receive services from virtually anywhere in the world regardless of their native language. We are evaluating the effects of a 20-hour virtual training program, which included e-learning modules and virtual behavioral skills training delivered by English-speaking certified behavior analysts to Italian-speaking parents mediated by an Italian translator. The dependent variables are the Behavioral Implementation Skills for Play Activities (BISPA) and the Behavioral Implementation Skills for Work Activities (BISWA). To date, we are working with three Italian-speaking parents, one of which has completed the first posttest probe with 100% component skills mastered on the BISWA and BISPA. The remaining two parents are currently receiving the virtual training. In pretest, parents obtained 30% or lower of the BISWA and BISPA. Results will permit conclusions about the efficacy of using a translator to mediate virtual training provided to non-English speaking parents.

Intercontinental Telehealth: Virginia Consultants' Distance Coaching of Therapists in Homes in Georgia-Sakartvelo in Eastern Europe

(Service Delivery)
ANA BARKAIA (Children of Georgia), Trevor F. Stokes (James Madison University), Tamari Mikiashvili (Children of Georgia)

Even though evidence based Applied Behavior Analysis services are widespread in the United States of America, service delivery is still a challenge for some countries like Georgia-Sakartvelo in Eastern Europe. There is little appreciation that ABA can significantly contribute to childrens development, and there are very few trained specialists who can provide this service. One solution to the challenge of providing services to remote and underserved areas is to incorporate the communications technology of telehealth. This study is a demonstration that an intercontinental telehealth coaching improved the mastery of therapists intervention skills and increased targeted verbalizations by children with autism. Three therapists delivering and three children with autism receiving early-intervention services in Tbilisi participated. A bilingual consultant provided coaching to therapists in Georgia-Sakartvelo from Virginia, USA while observing home therapy sessions via communications technology. The multiple-baseline, across-participants design was used to evaluate the effects of the intervention. Therapists demonstrated improvements in two classes of behaviors: correct command sequences and positive consequences. The children demonstrated improvements in echoics and mands. Interobserver agreements for these results were 89%-99%. The study demonstrated that telehealth can be a good model for delivering early-intervention services to children with autism in underserved regions of the world.

Effectiveness and Acceptability of Parent Training via Telehealth Among Families in Greece and Turkey
(Applied Research)
LOUKIA TSAMI (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Ozlem Toper Korkmaz (Uludag University), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract: Functional communication training (FCT) based on functional analysis (FA) results is highly effective for treating socially maintained problem behavior. Providing this assessment and intervention package via telehealth has been documented to be efficient and acceptable to caregivers in the United States (Wacker et al., 2013; Reimers and Wacker, 1988). In the present study, three families in rural and urban areas of Greece and two families in urban Turkey received parent training services via telehealth to implement FA and FCT with their children. The child participants, aged 4 years to 13 years, engaged in high rates of disruptive behavior and had autism diagnoses. Two behavior therapists located at a U.S. university conducted weekly 1-hour appointments in the participants’ native languages. Results indicated that FCT was highly effective in reducing problem behavior for all child participants. Furthermore, the parents rated the FA and FCT procedures as very acceptable and indicated that they liked using their computers to receive services. These findings indicate that, through telehealth, U.S.-based clinicians can offer behavior analysis services to families with children with autism around the world.



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