2017: Wendy Machalicek

University of Oregon

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) has very little presence in China, with only 10 BCBAs in Shanghai, a city of more than 25 million people. Intervention options for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are limited, and the use of complementary and alternative medical therapies including acupuncture and traditional herbal medicine are common and viewed as effective. Schools often do not accept students with ASD, and teachers have very little knowledge of ASD or evidence-based practices. The majority of parents must either educate their children at home or send them to privately funded treatment centers that may lack research-based practices such as early intensive ABA.


This project will develop 12 culturally responsive ASD “science briefs,” which are translations of published ABA interventions for young children with ASD, and deliver the briefs to Chinese parents and early intervention professionals using China’s most commonly used social network, WeChat. We anticipate increased awareness and knowledge of ABA interventions. The impact of the briefs will be evaluated using a non-randomized mixed strategy intervention including a 2 X 3 design—2 levels of language (English and Mandarin) and 3 types of dissemination methods (science brief with question and answer session with an early intervention professor in Shanghai; science brief with parent-to-parent question and answer session; and science brief only). The briefs will be translated from English to Mandarin and back translated to ensure accuracy.


Wendy Machalicek, Ph.D., BCBA-D, associate professor of special education and researcher at Educational and Community Supports at the University of Oregon, implemented this project with collaborators Christine Drew, BCBA, and Xueyun Su, Ph.D., associate professor of special education at East China Normal University in Shanghai.


Back to International Development Grant Recipients