University of Texas at San Antonio
Lee L. Mason, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is an assistant professor of special education and director of the TEAM Center (www.utsa.edu/autism) at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Over the past few years he has led multiple research teams to various parts of Mexico to investigate cultural variables related to the perception of autistic behavior and its treatment. Despite a substantial increase in the number of BACB certificants worldwide, presently there remain only two—one BCBA and one BCaBA—throughout Mexico’s 31 federated states. Only 150 miles away, UTSA is ideally situated to promote greater behavior analytic activity through partnerships with educational agencies and organizations in Mexico’s border states. However, recent violence has led to university restrictions on travel to, and through, this part of the country. Fortunately, technological advancements provide alternate means of collaboration.
The use of cloud-based teleconferencing equipment, such as Google's Chromebox for Meetings, affords the opportunity to consult with teachers and parents at educational facilities for children with disabilities in Mexico to address how environmental modifications can affect behavior. Dr. Mason and his colleagues at UTSA will train parents, teachers, and direct care providers in Monterrey, Nuevo León according to the BACB’s newly developed Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) curriculum. Additionally, this international partnership will facilitate an existing line of behavioral phenomenological research on mentalistic explanations for autistic behavior and their effect on treatment selection.
The proximate goal of this project is to produce RBTs in Mexico who can work effectively with children with special needs and their families to implement individualized treatment plans. Specifically, the project will be measured according to the following objectives: (1) the number of RBT training courses offered over the course of one calendar year, (2) the number of individuals recruited/registered to receive RBT training, and (3) the number of individuals who pass the competency-based RBT exam at the completion of the 40-hour training. However, the ultimate goal of this project is to induce advanced studies in applied behavior analysis by these RBTs in hopes of ultimately producing more behavior analytic activity and certificants in Mexico.
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