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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Symposium #525
Considerations in Cultural Diversity When Providing Applied Behavior Analysis Treatment to Individuals with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
1:00 PM–1:50 PM
W184bc (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/CSE; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Rany Thommen (ABA Today)
Abstract: According to the Oxford Dictionary, culture is defined as the customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group. It includes beliefs, behavior, customs, traditions, and language. Although ABA has decades of research supporting its effectiveness in treating Autism and there are more ABA practitioners across the globe than ever before, there is little research on how to develop ABA programs for consumers in a way that adapts to cultures outside of Western culture. Increased prevalence of Autism and more awareness has resulted in families from all backgrounds seeking treatment. Because of this we must find more ways to provide ABA services to families in a way that is culturally sensitive. This presentation will discuss the role of culture in how consumers respond to treatment intervention. Sample intake interviews will be described. Selection of appropriate treatment objectives which are sensitive to cultural differences but still reflect research-based intervention will also be described. Screening, assessment, and treatment plan development will be discussed to provide participants with information on how to better meet the needs of cultural diversity among clients while still providing evidenced based treatment.
Keyword(s): Autism, Cultural Sensitivity, Diversity, Parent Education
The Role of Culture During the Intake and Assessment Process
GIA VAZQUEZ ORTEGA (Blossom Center for Children)
Abstract: This presentation will define culture and describe the different aspects of culture that practitioners should consider when completing screenings, assessments, or other intake processes. Individuals from different countries may answer or respond to questions differently than those accustomed to western culture. For example, in some cultures families do not wish to receive a formal diagnosis of a disability so as to not stigmatize the child in society. And in other cases, some families do not perceive the absence of skills as a sign of developmental delay. Examples of cultural perception will be reviewed so that practitioners can consider modifying their intake processes to receive more accurate information from the clients they serve. Cultural sensitivity when providing parent education such as in understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder or other developmental disabilities will also be reviewed.
Considering Cultural Differences when Selecting Treatment Objectives
Abstract: It is the responsibility of practitioners to not only choose appropriate goals but to develop intervention plans that an individual’s team can effectively implement. Behaviors that are considered appropriate or inappropriate by the practitioner may not always be considered the same by family members. It is important that goals be carefully selected to ensure they are in fact important to the family and reflect their cultural differences. In some cultures, development of speech and language is less important than learning how to respond to directions. In other cultures, it is more important to develop academic skills than develop appropriate social skills. Cultural considerations during goal selection and treatment plan development will be reviewed.

Ethical Considerations When Providing Services to Families with Diverse Backgrounds

BERENICE DE LA CRUZ (Autism Community Network)

This presentation will review sections 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 of the BACB Guidelines for Responsible Conduct for Behavior Analysts related to relations with clients. When considering cultural practices, it can sometimes be difficult to determine which practices should be accepted and which practices should not be reinforced so that practitioners keep professional boundaries. In some cultural practices ignoring forms of appreciation offered by families can be perceived as insulting and fracture the practitioner client team dynamic. Ethical considerations related to meals, gifts, and other offerings will be discussed.




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