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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

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Symposium #517
CE Offered: BACB — 
Autism Knows No Borders: The Why and How of World-Wide Dissemination of Applied Behavior Analysis
Monday, May 27, 2019
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Hyatt Regency West, Ballroom Level, Regency Ballroom A
Area: AUT/TBA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Maricarmen Hazoury (Global Autism Project)
Discussant: Noor Younus Syed (Lehigh University Autism Services; Global Autism Project)
CE Instructor: Maricarmen Hazoury, M.S.

There are seventy million people in the world with autism. Eighty five percent of those individuals live in developing countries where awareness, acceptance, and access to resources is minimal. Applied behavior analysis is the scientific approach shown to be most effective in improving the lives of those with these diagnoses. There is a pervasive need to increase the number of people with a clear understanding of ABA and proficiency in using this science to work with individuals with ASD around the world. The need for a sustainable way to increase and improve ABA-based education for individuals will be discussed. The model used by the Global Autism Project will be introduced with data about current partner participation and progress of teachers and students. The concerns and challenges of generalizing the code of ethics and conduct of the BACB to training and supervising individuals in other cultures and countries will be considered.

Instruction Level: Advanced
Keyword(s): Dissemination, international ethics, supervision, sustainability
Target Audience:

BCBAs and BCBA-Ds who are training and supervising teachers, RBTs and future BCBAs both within the US and aborad

Learning Objectives: 1. Participants will gain an awareness of the awareness, acceptance and services available to those with ASD utilizing ABA around the world. 2.Participants will be able to discuss at least two ethical challenges to disseminating ABA worldwide. 3.Participants will be able to discuss at least 2 fundamental components to supporting the training of ABA providers abroad.

The Need for Sustainable Worldwide Dissemination of Applied Behavior Analysis

(Service Delivery)
AMREEN PANJWANI (Autism Spectrum Therapies; The Global Autism Project)

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnoses appear across all ages, genders, and races. Unfortunately, there are minimal services for individuals with ASD as a result of insufficient resources, awareness, and understanding in many countries in the world. Often individuals with ASD will be considered a safety concern or ineducable which restricts their access to social environments and without an opportunity to learn social significant behaviors that would improve their lives. In other situations, centers and schools are being created in some places with little to no expertise in working with the autistic population or the principles of applied behavior analysis. As Board Certified Behavior Analysts and other experts reach out to help, many challenges and concerns have been discovered. There is an essential need for ongoing assessment towards this goal to ensure independence and sustainability with ABA teaching practices. Further, statistics about the need in various parts of the world, some of the challenges that have been faced by communities that lack expertise on teaching individuals with autism, as well as ideas on how to spread awareness, support, and training to the people in these communities will be explored.


The Ethical Challenges of Worldwide Dissemination of Applied Behavior Analysis

(Service Delivery)
ASHLEY HOGAN (Autism Behavior Consulting Group)

Give a person a fish, they eat for the day; teach them to fish and they are fed for a lifetime. In 1987, the UN Brundtland Commission defined sustainable development as "meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” The same is true for international service provision. Doing for others does not help them in the long run. Whether it is attempting to support a struggling country, working with a child with autism, or training an educator to use ABA principles, the goal should always be independence. The Global Autism Project’s mission is to promote acceptance and integration worldwide by training communities in culturally relevant, sustainable practices. This is accomplished by empowering and engaging local people for lasting change in the acceptance of those with autism until there are local credentialed behaviour analysts with the skills necessary to be able to provide clinically sound services. As effective administrators they can then effectively disseminate ABA to their local community and larger geographic region. The challenges of adhering to the BACB Professional and Ethics Compliance Code across countries and cultures will be reviewed.


A Model for Sustainable Applied Behavior Analysis Training Where it is Needed Most

(Service Delivery)
CHERYL LYNN GENIESSE (Autism Spectrum Therapies; The Global Autism Project)

There are many training models for international dissemination. The Global Autism Project employs a model rooted in sustainability where the not-for-profit organization will invest in a partnership with an international service provider committed to using the principles of applied behavior analysis. As a partner, the Global Autism Project will provide 3 two-week training trips a year as well as a weekly telehealth call, with a BCBA, to provide ongoing individualized recommendations based on the needs of the partner site. Our sites progress is captured on an internally developed assessment measuring centre-wide level of achievement and data is also collected on weekly telehealth supervision engagement (e.g., completion of assignments, attendance, and “spotchecks”). A report is given after every two-week trip which outlines goals to be accomplished, mastery criteria, and sustainable method for maintenance. In addition, The Global Autism Project works to establish more BCBAs world-wide through creation of alternate pathways in established universities and having our partners establish practicum sites in partnership with the universities promoting sustainable ABA services in the country. Data from some current partner sites will be discussed.

A Movement for Change at Home and Abroad: The SkillCorps® Experience
(Service Delivery)
MEGAN HECHLER (Impacting Autism, LLC; Global Autism Project)
Abstract: Hands-on training and support is a key component to any successful training model, including training professionals and parents in the use of applied behavior analysis. Part of the sustainability model of the Global Autism Project ensured this face to face interaction through teams of SkillCorps® volunteers. SkillCorps® team members have expertise working with individuals with autism as Board Certified Behavior Analysts®, Registered Behavior Technicians®, teachers, speech and language pathologists, and other related service providers. These teams collaborate with the on-going clinical supervisor for each partner site to determine necessary goals to focus on as the partners move towards independence. This is not only an opportunity for growth for teachers at the partner site but for team members themselves. The techniques for ensuring independence and maintenance of skills are imperative for teachers as well as their students. The SkillCorps® experience allows volunteers to collaborate with other professionals from different backgrounds and cultures to disseminate best practices for ABA around the world and continue to learn, grow and contribute to the field even after they return home. One SkillCorps® member’s experience will be discussed, as well as feedback from other members and participants at partner sites.



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