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.


32nd Annual Convention; Atlanta, GA; 2006

Event Details

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Symposium #448
International Symposium - Cultural Considerations in the Education of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Regency VII
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Laura J. Hall (San Diego State University)
Abstract: The influence of culture, or shared patterns of human behavior is rarely addressed in research with individuals with autism spectrum disorders. The series of papers in this symposium will: review current literature on culture and autism, identify cultural considerations when designing behavioral intervention plans in the USA and in Turkey and provide two examples of research focused on cultural behavior and language. One study evaluates touch behavior in children from Latino and European roots and the second evaluates the use of stimulus equivalence as a method of teaching English words to Spanish speakers.
Examining Cultural Components of Behavioral Intervention.
ANGELA MCINTOSH (San Diego State University)
Abstract: When Kanner first described autism in the early 1940’s he elluded to a relationship between autism and certain cultural or demographic variables. Although we now know that there is no causal relationship between elevated socioeconomic status and the diagnosis of autism, we have yet to thoroughly explore the relationship between autism and culture, or to define multicultural education for students with autism and other low incidence disabilities. This paper will examine autism from a multicultural perspective, with particular emphasis on examining cultural components of behavioral intervention. Attention to cultural variables such as language, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status might enhance our ability to deliver quality educational services to students with autism and their families, and contribute to defining multicultural education for students with low incidence disabilities.
Turkish Teachers’ Classroom Experiences with Children with Challenging Behavior.
YASEMIN TURAN (San Diego State University), Dilek Erbas (Erciyes Universitesi, Turkey), Laura J. Hall (San Diego State University)
Abstract: This study extends current literature by increasing our understanding about the use of positive behavior supports within the context of a different culture (Turkey). Survey data gathered from Turkish teachers working with children with challenging behavior, including strategies used during interactions with students with challenging behavior, will be shared. The implications of these results, and the results of other research on culture and autism, for the work of educators will be discussed.
The Effects of Culture on Touch Avoidance in Children with Autism.
GEORGEANNE GEDNEY (San Diego State University)
Abstract: Tactile defensive behavior is often associated with the diagnosis of autism. Autism affects children from all cultural and economic backgrounds. Culture greatly influences family attitudes about physical contact and patterns of touching behavior. Certain cultures, like those of Latin America, are often stereotyped as being touch-oriented, or “contact”‚ cultures. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence that cultural contact behaviors, specifically those of Latin America, had on the development of tactile defensiveness in children diagnosed with autism. Ten children with autism from culturally diverse backgrounds were selected from six early childhood special education classes. The children were assessed for tactile defensive behaviors using the Touch Inventory for Preschoolers (TIP) and observational data recorded over two sessions in two settings. Each family also responded to a questionnaire about their child-rearing practices. Findings are discussed with respect to TIP results, observational data and family practices.
Stimulus Equivalence as a Second Language Teaching Strategy for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
N. CECILIA FRAGOSO (San Diego State University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of using a stimulus equivalence procedure in the acquisition of English and Spanish words by three children with autism ages 5 – 8. It assessed whether this stimulus equivalence classes were established for unfamiliar similar words in English and Spanish and whether or not skills are maintained and generalized across settings once they are taught. This study contributed to the understanding of fundamental principles of language acquisition using stimulus equivalence. Additional experimental questions for applying these practices to individuals with autism are discussed.



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