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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #494
CE Offered: BACB
Providing Culturally Competent Services to Families of Diverse Backgrounds
Monday, May 25, 2020
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 1, Salon A
Area: CBM/AUT; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Anna Garcia (Rightpath Research and Innovation Center; University of South Florida)
Discussant: Sarah E. Bloom (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Anna Garcia, Ph.D.

The purpose of this symposium is to discuss steps clinicians can take to better serve clients of diverse cultural backgrounds. The first presenter will define cultural reciprocity, discuss its role in the evidence-based practice of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), and describe how it can culturally enhance services. The second presenter will talk about the effectiveness of using Fotonovelas, a culturally and linguistically appropriate intervention, to teach behavior change procedures to Hispanic families. The third presenter will discuss the importance of readability of behavior plans and present data on readability assessments conducted on behavior plan samples gathered from around the U.S. The last presenter will talk about using Prevent-Teach-Reinforce for Families (PTR-F) with Hispanic families of young children with ASD.

Instruction Level: Basic
Target Audience:


Cultural Reciprocity in Behavior Analytic Services: Why Does it Matter?
ANNA GARCIA (Rightpath Research and Innovation Center; University of South Florida)
Abstract: The importance of providing culturally competent services in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is ever more important given the diverse population in the United States (US). Therefore, it is important to identify ways that behavior analysts can ensure they are providing services that adhere to each client’s cultural characteristics, believes, preferences, and values. However, this becomes difficult when analysts take into account that there are a large number of ethnically and diverse cultural groups in the US and that differences among these groups also exist. During this presentation, the presenter will propose Cultural Reciprocity as a process to ensure that each families’ culture is integrated throughout services. How this process contributes to the evidenced-based practice of behavior analysis will also be discussed.
Readability of Behavior Treatment Plans Written by Behavior Analysts
VALERIA MACUARE (University of South Florida), Anna Garcia (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Behavior treatment plans are designed to provide a blueprint of interventions that should be implemented to reduce problem behavior and increase adaptive skills. Master- or doctoral- level behavior analysts typically writes them. Caregivers and behavior therapist are asked to read and understand the plans and implement the recommendations with fidelity. However, they may not be able to understand the behavior plans as they may not have the same level of education as the behavior analysts who write them. Additionally, the treatment plans maybe lengthy, written in a passive tense, and contain technical jargon. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the readability of behavior plans that were written by behavior analysts. Sample behavior plans were collected across agencies that provide in-home services across the United States. The results of the assessments and implications for caregiver collaboration and treatment implementation will be discussed.

Using the Prevent-Teach-Reinforce for Families With Hispanic Families of Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

RACHEL ELIZABETH AYRES (University of South Florida), Melissa Santiago (University of South Florida), Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida)

This study assessed the feasibility of the newly manualized Prevent Teach Reinforce for Families (PTR-F) for use with Hispanic families of young children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who have difficulty adjusting to family routine. The study involved three families of children with ASD ages 3 to 6 years old who participated in the 5-step PTR-F process and who implemented the PTR intervention plan during naturally occurring family routines. A multiple-baseline across participants design was employed to examine the preliminary evidence of the efficacy of using the PTR-F for children with ASD. The results indicated that Hispanic parents successfully implemented intervention strategies with the help of a facilitator using the PTR-F manual. All children’s alternate desirable behavior increased and problem behavior reduced a significant amount when the PTR-F intervention was implemented by the parents. The parents reported high social validity when implementing the PTR-F intervention.

Using Fotonovelas to Teach Reinforcement Procedures to Hispanic Parents
SARA GARCIA (University of South Florida), Anna Garcia (University of South Florida), Vanessa Morejon-Campos (University of South Florida), Trina Spencer (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Training parents to implement behavior management procedures is an integral part of ensuring the effects of behavior analytic treatment maintain and generalize to different settings. More recently, there has been a push to adapt this training to the cultural backgrounds of the clients and their families in an attempt to decrease the treatment disparities that exist in services among individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities. The Fotonovela is an example of a cultural and linguistically appropriate tool that can be used to train Hispanic parents to implement behavior management procedures. Fotonovelas are small booklets that use pictures and captions to depict a dramatic story; they are a popular form of entertainment among the Hispanic population. A multiple baseline across parents was conducted to assess the effectiveness of using Fotonovelas to teach reinforcement procedures. In-situ assessments were conducted to assess generalization of the procedures with each parent's child with autism. The results of the study and its implications will be discussed, as well as future research directions.



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