Iris Pelizzoni graduated in psychology with an experimental thesis on the application of ABA principles to the world of sports with Prof. Silvia Perini at the University of Parma. After graduation, she started her postgraduate internship in Tice, an Italian psychological and research center (www.centrotice.it), and visited the Morningside Academy in Seattle. Back in Italy, she obtained a Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and began her Ph.D. in psychology, studying behavioral strategies for the acquisition and enhancement of study skills of children with learning disabilities. For about 10 years, she has been involved in planning and intervention with children with academic, emotional, and behavioral difficulties. In addition, she supports parents through parent training and psychological counseling.
The objective of the project is to spread ABA, its principles, and its effectiveness to foreign parents with children who attend the Italian school system (almost 10%). The aim is to help them to better understand children’s needs and choose effective and efficient interventions. To achieve this goal, we will record psycho-educational videos whose actors will be foreign parents. They will describe, in their native language, the main developmental disorders and the characteristics of the interventions with ABA. The videos will be initially translated into Arabic, thanks to the collaboration with a mother of a child with specific learning disorder. Then the videos will be translated also into Indian and Moldovan. The videos will be spread on the main digital platforms (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) and sent to school principals in the north of Italy. In this way, the videos will become free material useful not only for foreign parents of children with developmental disorders but also for teachers.
Last, the funds will support a pilot project in Botswana to increase awareness of behavior analysis and establish the profession of Behavioral Technician (BT) as “interventionist” with the Botswana Quality Assurance Authority Board. This is a first step in recognition of Behavior Analysis services in the country. Maleshwane Mauco, the only BCBA in the country, will serve as the coordinator of the project in Botswana. Tsami and Mauco will develop a 40-hour BT competency level instruction curriculum and train 10 individuals in-vivo and via telehealth. Through follow up probe sessions, the behavior therapists will evaluate generalization and maintenance of the skills taught to the BTs. The findings of all projects will be presented in a conference in Gaborone supported by Botswana government officials in April 2022.
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