Behavior Analytic Interventions for Children with Autism: Policy and practice in the United Kingdom and China

Yini Liao, Karola Dillenburger, Xiaoyi Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study explored the experiences of professionals and parents from the United Kingdom (UK) and China of autism-relevant policies, school involvement, and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)-based interventions. Semi-structured interviews were conducted involving 36 parents and professionals (18 from the UK and 18 from China) and direct behavioral observations were carried out of five parents and three professionals. Four subthemes emerged in the thematic analysis: (1) Chinese public policy about children with autism favored younger children and was more inclined to fund those living in poor conditions; (2) Chinese parents faced challenges around inclusive education and accessing high-quality services, and there was a social stigma attached to autism in China; (3) the evidence-based approach of ABA-based intervention was not widely endorsed by healthcare or educational systems and participants reported a limited awareness of early intensive behavior intervention (EIBI); and (4) while there was limited availability of EIBI in general, intervention fidelity with regards to discrete trial teaching (DTT) was similar and increased with ongoing training. The professional and parental experiences were discussed in the context of policy, school involvement, and EIBI. This study illustrates the need to support children with autism and to consider cultural adaptations of evidence-based practice of behavior analysis for the affected population.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages40
JournalAutism
Publication statusAccepted - 11 May 2021

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