Professionals’ Adaptations of Autism-Specific Family Interventions for Somali Families

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Professionals’ Adaptations of Autism-Specific Family Interventions for Somali Families

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The study employed qualitative methods, specifically 1:1 interviews, to investigate the adaptations that behavior analysts serving Somali families with a family member with autism make when conducting family training and education. To be included in the interviews, the individual had to have at least one year of experience supporting Somali families with a member with autism in an applied behavior analysis related professional field (e.g., Board Certified Behavior Analysts, speech language therapists). More specifically, the research question was “what considerations are necessary to adapt autism-specific family interventions for Somali families?” The questions for the topic guide were developed based on the Ecological Validity Model (EVM; Bernal et al., 1995) and further modified based on Barnett and colleagues’ (2019) study of therapists’ adaptation of children’s evidence-based practices. The semi-structured 1:1 interviews lasted approximately 60 minutes, and thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2005) was used to identify themes. After analyzing the preliminary data, themes include 1) using appropriate language and styles of communication; 2) incorporating ideals related to religion; 3) building trust through including feedback and providing relevant examples; and 4) tailoring the contextual elements (e.g., setting, length) and methods (e.g., prompting, role-play). Implications, limitations, and future directions will be addressed.



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Research funded by the National Center for Leadership in Intensive Intervention

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Reilly, Amber M; Savana Bak, M.Y.. (2024). Professionals’ Adaptations of Autism-Specific Family Interventions for Somali Families. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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