Dr. Mapy Chavez is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a CABAS Board Certified Assistant Research Scientist. She holds a Ph.D in applied behavior analysis (ABA) and the education of children with behavioral disorders from Teachers College, Columbia University (New York City). She has spent more than 20 years studying, working, and conducting research in ABA and autism, focusing mainly on the use of ABA in the education of children with autism, and teacher and family training. In 2008 Dr. Chavez founded Alcanzando, a first-of-its-kind not-for-profit organization based in Lima, Peru, which provides early intervention services based on the principles of ABA to children on the autism spectrum, their families, and professionals. Currently Dr. Chavez is the only certified behavior analyst in Peru, and her staff includes the only seven Registered Behavior Technicians in Peru.
In addition to providing direct services to children and their families, Alcanzando’s objectives include serving as an educational and resource center for the community, and providing increased awareness and understanding of the importance of behavior analytic services throughout Peru.
The project the SABA grant will support is the development of the first Registered Behavior Technician and Autism Resource Center, to be housed at Alcanzando. The purpose of the resource center is to increase awareness and understanding of ABA principles and their relevance to the education of children on the autism spectrum by developing a high-quality, self-paced, low-cost, video-based training program for local professionals to meet the requirements to become Registered Behavior Technicians specialized in work with children on the autism spectrum.
Training additional professionals to work in the field of ABA is key to improving access to behavior analytic services in Peru. Having more well-trained professionals will lead to improved awareness and understanding of ABA principles and autism, stronger integrity in the application of ABA principles, and significant opportunities to promote training and appropriate credentials for those working in the field.
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