2023: Yifei Sun

Teachers College Columbia University

Dissemination of ABA in Mainland China


The population of individuals with Autism in China is estimated to be around 10 million. Currently, there are 100 BCBAs working in China. Half of them are based in Hong Kong, while the other half serve 18 major cities in mainland China. This gives us a ratio of 1 BCBA per 10,000 individuals with Autism. Consequently, families with children on the autism spectrum often have to travel or even relocate to major cities in order to access any Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services. Families often have limited knowledge in their decision making process when trying to locate the most effective treatment.



Moreover, despite ABA being the most effective intervention method for autism and various other developmental delays, only 16 universities in China offer a degree in special education, and none of them specialize in applied behavior analysis. With BACB discontinuing accreditation outside of North America, China heavily relies on BCBAs who complete their studies abroad and return to serve the community.



With this project, our aim is to disseminate scientific knowledge to families in need in China and keep practitioners up to date with the current literature. We believe that by doing so, we can improve the efficiency and efficacy of the limited ABA services in China. To achieve this, we plan to use the funds from the International Development Grant to develop a Mandarin Chinese podcast that provides essential resources. The podcast will (1) outline facts and knowledge about ABA, (2) explain the philosophical background and fundamental terms of ABA, and (3) disseminate classic and current research on addressing common needs and concerns. In addition to regular episodes, we will release periodic Q&A episodes to address shared or specific questions from families and practitioners. To further assist our audience, we will provide additional resources such as references to tactics discussed in the episodes and visual outlines of procedures in Chinese. To ensure the relevance of our content to families and practitioners in China, we will collect user experience and social validity data through questionnaires. This feedback will help us focus our topics on areas that are most relevant and valuable to our target audiences.



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