Providing Culturally Sensitive PBS to Families: Discussion and Q&A

Filmed at Setting the Stage for Success: Positive Behavior Support in School, Home and Community – October 20, 2018

Part of ACT’s Positive Behavior Support Learning Stream

This panel was facilitated by Deborah Pugh, ACT – Autism Community Training’s  Executive Director. Prior to returning to Canada in the mid-90’s, Deborah worked as a journalist internationally, including six years living in Egypt. Since 2005, when ACT began its work providing family support, it has prioritized the needs of aboriginal and immigrant families in providing information resources, including ACT in Chinese and ACT in Punjabi, in addition to many language resources captured in the Autism Information Database.

Panel Participants

Joseph Lucyshyn, PhD, BCBA-D, Associate Professor, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology and Special Education, UBC

Dr. Joseph Lucyshyn has extensive experience working in collaboration with families and allied professionals to develop and implement family centered positive behavior support (FCPBS) plans in home and community settings for children with autism and other developmental disabilities who engage in severe problem behavior. He has authored publications in peer-reviewed journals including the Canadian Journal of School Psychology, Journal of Child and Family Studies, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, and Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities

Mariko Tachi, MEd, BCBA

Mariko Tachi has her BCBA and a Masters in Special Education from UBC. She has been providing in-home intervention based in ABA for children diagnosed with autism and their families in the Lower Mainland for the past decade. Since 2015, she has been travelling to Japan to provide interventions to families and has presented numerous workshops.

Noreen Dunn, MEd, BCBA

Noreen Dunn has been supporting children with ASD and other developmental disabilities in home, school, and community settings for over 13 years. A BCBA with a MEd in Special Education from UBC, Noreen has a keen interest in empowering and supporting families; she is currently working with a group of professionals in BC to make PBS more accessible to families from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Part 1: Q&A


  • 00:00 Do you ever find in your professional practice that you struggle with dealing with the black and whiteness of the ethical considerations when you’re trying to develop rapport with families from different cultures? For example, accepting tea?
  • 8:24 What do diverse needs approaches look like in Japan? Is it a similar PBS system compared to Canada/BC?
  • 10:19 What role can external professionals play in helping to bridge the gap in communications with schools?

Part 2: Q & A


  • 00:00 How can we teach cultural humility to professionals and school staff?
  • 04:23 Dr. Pat Mirenda discusses accepting tea for the purposes of cultural respect and sensitivity for BC ABA members.
  • 7:27 Is there research on if treatment is more effective if you speak the same language as the family you are working with?