Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism: A Latin American Case

Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism: A Latin American Case

Mapy Chavez Askins (Alcanzando, Inc., USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0034-6.ch066


Alcanzando Peru is a not for profit organization that provides educational services based on the principles of applied behavior analysis to children in the Autism Spectrum, their families, and professionals interested in the field around the Spanish speaking world. This chapter is meant to share the data from their services over the last 7 years. It will discuss the ethical and cultural considerations that should be in place when providing early intervention behavioral services to these populations in various Spanish-speaking countries.
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Alcanzando was founded as an organization initially in Lima, Peru, in February of 2008, through the vision of Dr. Mapy Chavez Askins. At the time, treatment options in Peru and the rest of South America were very limited and behavioral intervention was not widely accepted. To help address the overwhelming demand, the organization wanted to work together to support families who needed evaluations, direct early intervention services for their children with Autism, and a source for training of parents and professionals. Alcanzando envisioned an initial focus on awareness of the need for intensive early intervention, as well as a development of a clinical site that would provide direct services to children between the ages of 12 months and 7 years old.

Initially, Alcanzando operated in donated office space in Miraflores, Lima, Peru. The first services provided were free consultation services to families whose children had either been identified as being within the Autism Spectrum or who believed their children presented signs of being within the Autism Spectrum. These services were funded under a Wagner College Grant, Fox Fellows - Autism in Peru: Helping Children Reach Their Potential.

With the help of this educational grant through Mr. Fox and Wagner College, the Fox Fellows Grant, Autism in Peru: Helping Children Reach Their Potential, allowed Dr. Mapy Chavez Askins and two Wagner College Graduate students to spend three weeks in Lima, Peru working with children with Autism, their families and teachers.

Between May 2008 and June 2008, this team of three spent three weeks conducting initial screenings with a total of 25 children between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. Collaborating with Dr. Mapy Chavez Askins, the students were able to gain hands-on experience with the evaluations and individualized instruction of children in the Autism Spectrum.

Prior to traveling from New York, USA to Lima, Peru to provide these services, Dr. Chavez Askins met with the two Wagner Graduate Students and discussed the following topics:

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