Autism does not discriminate against culture, race, ethnicity, religion, or language. It affects children and families around the world. Dr. Fumi Horner, born and raised in Japan, is a BCBA at the doctoral level. Her passion lies in diversity in autism as well as cultural competence. Today we are discussing how we can do better with diverse families and in the autism field as a whole.
Diversity as described by Dr. Horner is all about individual differences and accepting each individual and family how they are. She emphasizes the cultural differences unique to every single person and that just because you share the same color or cultural religious practices, does not mean you would have the same experiences, ideas, or preferences. It is important to be open to listen and understand with every client and case because they have different priorities and needs.
Language is a really common barrier when working with families from different countries and cultures. While it may seem like a priority to focus on English, the primary language of the school a child would attend should address the family’s needs. If adult caretakers do not speak English, then how will they communicate with the child? There has to be a clear balance and acceptance of how every individual is different and will need different focuses of care. For example, some cultures accept extended bed-sharing and spoon-feeding. While this may be a delay and area to work on for some American families, this may not be an area needed for families of specific cultures and practices. Start by building a relationship with the family first to understand who they are and what they need.
As a Japanese native who speaks English as her second language, Dr. Horner has a unique perspective on diversity in the autism field. When she was finishing school and looking for her practicum, she found it difficult to find placement because they were lacking the training needed for therapists to communicate with families and be sensitive to cultural differences. This became a motivator for her to create quality training for clinicians and identify the points where the current systems were missing the mark.
America is one of the few countries that has funding systems for ABA and a qualified board for BCBAs. In the past, the BCBA exam had been translated and offered in other countries, but the board has pulled back. The emphasis needs to be on other countries creating their own boards and advocating for the funding of ABA. Dr. Horner offers webinars to disseminate the information to Japanese parents as a BCBA trained in America.
It will take time, effort, funding, and years of advocacy to bring the world up to the American standards of ABA. However, Dr. Fumi’s webinars and online courses, like the ones I offer on my website, can help educate parents and bridge the gap of access to ABA around the world. Every child and every family deserves the resources and opportunities to turn autism around and improve their quality of life.
TODAY’S GUESTDr. Horner was born and raised in Japan and moved to California for college in 2001. She has spent her entire career working in the field of ABA starting as a therapist for children with autism. She has also worked as an adjunct faculty to teach ABA in a graduate program. In recent years, Fumi has expanded her passion to developing training for clinicians and building quality assurance systems for the organizations in hopes of reaching more families who live in underserved areas. She currently works as a Vice President of Clinical Quality, Outcomes, and Research at Bierman ABA Autism Center. She is also a member of the Japanese Association for Behavior Analysis and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee at the Illinois Association for Behavior Analysis.
- What is diversity? Dr. Horner’s perspective.
- Cultural differences in families of children with autism.
- Working with families from different cultures.
- Diversity in the autism field.
- Access to ABA in other countries.
- MaryBarbera.com/workshop(Sign up for a free workshop online for parents and professionals)
- Autism in Black Families: Interview with Maria Davis-Pierre from Autism in Black
- Autism in India & ABA Training in Multiple Languages | Interview with Dr. Smita Awasthi
- Fumi Horner, PhD, BCBA-D – VP of Clinical Quality, Outcomes and Research – Bierman ABA
Transcript for Podcast Episode: 142
Diversity in the Autism Field with Dr. Fumi Horner
Hosted by: Dr. Mary Barbera
Guest: Dr. Fumi Horner
Mary: You're listening to the Turn Autism Around podcast episode number one hundred and forty two today, I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Fumi Horner, who is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst at the doctoral level. And Fumi has been in the United States since 2001. When she came here from college, she was born and raised in Japan, and her interests really lie in diversity and cultural competence. She is currently the vice president of Clinical Quality Outcomes and Research at Biermann ABA Autism Center. She is located in Chicago. She's a wealth of information about how we can do better with people from all over the world, different cultures, different religions, different races, how we can help our clients with different backgrounds as well as improve our diversity in the workforce. It's a fascinating discussion. I hope you enjoy it. Here's Dr. Fumi Horner.
Welcome to The Turn Autism Around podcast. For both parents and professionals in the autism world who want to turn things around, be less stressed and lead happier lives. And now your host, autism mom, behavior analyst, and bestselling author, Dr. Mary Barbera.
Mary: OK, Fumi, thanks so much for joining us today. I'm really looking forward to hearing your story.
Dr. Horner: Awesome. Thank you for having me.
Mary: So the same question for our listeners that I usually start with. Describe your fall into the autism world.
Dr. Fumi Horner's Background and Fall into the Autism World:
Dr. Horner: Sure. Well, that was way back then when I lived in Japan. I was born and raised in Japan, my brothers, our very close family friend, that they have a little boy with autism. And it was just always part of my childhood hanging out with the little boy. He was verbal. He was able to speak very basic needs and wants, but not at the conversational level. And he was always in my brother little brother's classroom with a little aide. He all the sports festivals and all the cultural festivals. The Japanese schools do that every year. He was always part of the group, but with the aide and there wasn't much expectation that he has to do certain things independently. He was there so he can be part of the group without disrupting the entire classroom activities or whatever that is full of activities that they were supposed to be doing.
Mary: And this was like this was like nineteen nineties.
Dr. Horner: That was nineteen ninety. Yes. OK, so that's how I grew up. And that was always part of my family. We went to a family trip together, so I saw him several times a week entire my elementary school and junior high and until we moved to a different location, but we still kept in touch. And I still we are still very close to the family. And he now is probably 30 something years old and he has a job. He takes a train to work. I saw him at the bar last time. He wasn't drinking, but he was having a good time. So that's kind of how I grew up. And it was very eye opening. When I came in to America for college, I took basic psychology 101. Learned about autism. And I was always the entire time that I was watching that webinar, the video during the lecture, I was thinking about the little boy that I grew up with. And then I learned about ABA for the first time and the Dr. Lavelle's research at UCLA. So that was very shocking and eye opening. While that this is what I want to do and I want to bring this back to Japan, then do something different that it's possibly help more people there in Japan. So I can, I want to learn this here as much as I can and bring it back to Japan. So that's kind of how I got into this autism field professionally.
Mary: Wow. And then you went on to get a master's and a doctorate. All.. Was this all in California or did you move?
Dr. Horner: Yeah. The graduate programs are all in Chicago, Illinois.
Mary: And that's where you're located now. Yes, I am. OK, so. So you never moved back to Japan, but are you, were you able to disseminate that information in any way to Japan?
Dr. Horner: Sure. So I recently, very recently started working...Well my doctoral dissertation, was focusing on application of all the English written curriculum and assessment into Japanese language to see if both the one the testing applicability and to whether which instructions will result in a faster skill acquisition. So that was my dissertation research. And then I had my kids, my own life events. So now I recently started doing some webinars targeting Japanese families who live in the United States. So they have a language not only of the language barrier, but they are raising a child with autism in a completely foreign country. And some of them are their stay is completely temporary, but their kids are in the school system, the public school system a lot of times. So how to get them educated in IEP and all that insurance related issues and all the ABA that they cannot really receive ABA in Japanese but English. So how can we at least minimize the barrier and do their best to help their child learn and acquire more skills? So I get the webinar recently. I'm also a member of the Japanese Association of Behavior Analysis and we have a conference actually this coming week. But so I started doing those kind of things very slowly starting this year.
Mary: Yeah, it's very difficult because, I mean, the world is so huge. There are so many needs. So today I really want to dive into diversity and cultural differences between all countries. And I have online courses and communities. And we have people from over 80 countries who have purchased the courses and are part of the community. So there is a real, you know, a real big group of different languages, different cultures. I also on the podcast had Maria from Autism in Black, an organization. She was on the episode ninety nine. We'll put that in the show notes. She did a really good interview in terms of the discrepancies between what black children get in terms of early diagnosis and treatment and white children. And also Smitha from India. Off the top of my head, these are the episodes that really we talked a lot about diversity and some of the problems. So what in your perspective is diversity?
Dr. Fumi Horner's Perspective on Diversity:
Dr. Horner: Well, it's more of all the individual differences, that because everybody comes with all there own differences and when it comes to diversity, it's more of accepting how they are, that it's people who have different backgrounds and experiences. And just because you share similar or same color of skin or similar cultural religious background, that doesn't mean that you guys will have a similar experiences or ideas or preferences. Even so, understanding and accepting those differences and really respecting that the way they are and instead of changing things, that it should be based on what the society kind of implores them to change or accept in diversity perspective. How can we really respect those individual differences and their backgrounds and really having a mutual understanding of what we need to... How much do we need to really modify then kind of shape their behaviors into more of the appropriate functional level so they can adapt to their environment effectively and in their achieve their goal, whatever that means to that individual.
Mary: Yeah, I think that's a good way to look at it. I'm constantly talking about the child and so each child is so different. And even though they might both be 18 month old and they might both neither of them talking in and maybe they're both American and they're both from Pennsylvania and they're both they have so many similarities. But this child may not be sleeping through the night, may have eating problems, may have, you know, big tantrums while so if we look at individual differences and then if we pull back like you're suggesting, and look at the family and the culture and the language and the backgrounds, it's like, wow, you know, it does get very, very complicated.
Dr. Horner: Absolutely. Yeah. And I think that a lot of. Actually, a lot of clinicians tend to hyper focus on, OK, well, he has to go to school. That means he has to be able to do or she has to be able to do A, B and C, or because of the funding restriction, they have to stick to the medical necessity. So the insurance will reimburse their services. As a BCBA that focusing on the social significance of the individual that we provide services for and the families who are supposed to support and be able to maintain whatever we try, we teach during the therapy time. We want to make sure all the skills that we target are able to generalize outside of a therapy and also carried over by the caregivers and family members. So it's the they're able to maintain over time, like you mentioned, the language. But if the families don't speak English at home and all they see is the caregivers, the grandparents who don't speak English at all. Parents might speak a little bit of English, but the child sees the grandparents all the time, and they don't speak English at all. It's really significant for them to be able to communicate back and forth with the grandparents. They are because they are primary caregivers. Are we going to say that no they have to just stick to English because this child is going to public school in three years? Or are we going to kind of meeting a middle and somewhat incorporate their native language into the programing to help them facilitate communication that could happen at home. So I think these are very important topic for clinicians to think about.
Acknowledging Cultural Differences in Autism Families:
Mary: Yeah, I know I worked with one family from India and they now and I don't know if this is widespread in India or not, but this family was much more interested in and had their kids sleeping with them later. You know, the family bed situation, they were also more interested in, like spoon feeding the child well past what would be appropriate in the United States for Americans. And so all of these things like is it a delay or is it something that we should work on if the family's not interested? It just, in addition to the language, there are cultural differences that are there, things like that in other countries, like in Japan, for instance, where it's a difference that is pretty widespread?
Dr. Horner: It definitely is. And there are so many differences and there are differences not just as a child and but the caregiver interaction, what's common and what's expected that it's just so different. So just because and just because what your graduate school trained you or prepared you for, you know, to follow the medical necessity or what's appropriate for the child to be in the kindergarten, that may be different. And I think the cultural, when it comes to cultural humility, to accept those differences in diversity, you always have to have a mindset of that you don't know everything. So you have to be able to you have to really be receptive to pointing to those differences and what families have needs and priorities are when they are making recommendations and working with those families.
Mary: Yeah, and you use the term cultural humility. That's basically I think you defined it is basically not being humble to the fact that you don't know all the variables. Even if you've worked with one hundred families from India, each family is different. And is, that is that what cultural humility is? Because I've never heard that before,
Dr. Horner: That's how I always learned it and that's how I use it to be humble and just really receptive. Just because I'm from Japan and I work with a good amount of Asian families, that doesn't mean that I know a lot of things about. Maybe I know more things, relatively speaking, to compared to other BCBA or clinicians just because of my background and experience. But that doesn't make me very competent and know all the variables and needs and priorities of the individual family just because they are also from the same ethnic background with me. So just having the attitude of being humble attitude to learn and try to understand those, be sensitive to their needs and wants, and not assuming that I am competent just because I have a certain amount of experience or I have a certain degree, things like that.
Mary: So if there are professionals out there and they are just saying, OK, that makes a lot of sense and maybe I'm not going into situations, you know, humble enough and open enough to cultural differences, are there any like, you know, two, three points that you would just be like if you were sending me into or a student into a family from Japan or from India or from wherever? Are there any like three or four things that you could say, like just to do the action steps?
Action Steps for Working with Culturally Different Families:
Dr. Horner: Sure. I think that it's very important and I'm actually heavily involved in a lot of intake process. So our initial caregiver, I'm not going to even call that as a caregiver training by caregiver or orientation process before even they start a service for children with autism or even make a treatment recommendation. We, the clinicians, will make sure the clinicians spend enough time to get to know the parents. So the initial orientation process parent that includes the assessment and parent interviews and having very open discussion, what they're looking for, what the struggles are, and especially for some culture, I think accepting that's a struggle, even though in some culture, yes, I should be as a mother doing a A-B-and-C for my child no matter what. And I shouldn't be asking for help from my husband or my other people because that makes them feel that they are not doing their job correctly or independently. So they might not share those information and they might feel like they are complaining about their child. So they have a guilt that it's in them. So they might not share those experiences with a clinician right away when the conditions are supposed to assess what's their priority, how where the struggle and pain points are for the parents when they are creating some goals and plan for them. So really spending time building rapport, getting to know them. And I think these are building this relationship first, especially now with the COVID restriction. I think doing this remotely may be a little bit of a challenge for a lot of them. However, I I believe it's very important to spend enough time with the family and not just mom, maybe many caregivers as much as possible to really assess where what their experiences are like. So their goals and plans, the clinicians goals and plans are aligning with what the parents are, the caregivers and families are looking for.
Mary: Yeah. So we also have to look at diversity in the field of autism treatment in terms of BCBAs and students and RBTs and therapists. And can you speak to that at all?
Diversity in the Autism Field:
Dr. Horner: Sure. Well, I must say well, from my personal experience, working as a therapist and then becoming a BCBA. Even finding a practicum. So the internship experience to become a BCBA or even finding a job to become a behavior therapist. They were extremely difficult for me. I call I remember I called so many companies and clinicians inquiring if there are opening, even though now look at the field, that it's always a lot of people, a lot of companies are always hiring for behavior technicians and going through a lot of short staff situation. But back then, I needed to call. And then there was some people will tell me that with that language barrier, it will make me extremely difficult to get those this kind of a job because it's very language heavy and I have to be able to jump into those families and be able to communicate with families and parents professionally in my language. Frankly speaking, that wasn't it wasn't really, I guess, there by the time when I was looking for that type of a job. So it was extremely difficult. And I think I must say that it was about 10 years ago. So a lot of companies didn't have a lot of training system to prepare their staff to have a professional conversation. What to do when a child does this or parents ask those questions, how to answer so they don't have those systems in place. So they really have needed to rely on individuals whose coming to work for them that have already those prerequisite skills ready. So they didn't have to be responsible for teaching everything. But finding those type of jobs was very difficult as an international student. And when I finished my master's degree, finished thesis, and passed the BCBA exam, I just knew that I wasn't ready. I wasn't ready to competently work with all the children and the families and do the best service I could. And especially I was back then still thinking about bringing back to bring in the ABA back to Japan. So that's why that was the reason that I decided to pursue Phd, to part of my education and knowledge. But I thin having the training that thorough training for our level or the behavior technician level and also the BCBA to prepare those clinicians who are interested and could have come with a very various background, including the language that they speak. So they are still able to competently, adequately learned what the teaching objectives or training objectives were from the training on training course or the graduate program course, and be able to provide feedback and like I saide, just being humble, insensitive to those differences, but without compromising their standards, how can we still set them up for success and assist them to achieve to the quality commission standards of what they can do? I think that has been, that was a challenge for me when I was the practicum student and working as a new clinician. So that became of my passion. Now, how can I create training and quality assurance system to detect some pain points and improve our current training systems?
Mary: What's the name of the company you work for now?
Dr. Horner: I work for Bierman ABA Autism Center,
Mary: And that company is in several states, right?
Dr. Horner: Correct.
Mary: Right. So how diverse is your workforce there? And is that something that you're constantly trying to get more diverse or?
Dr. Horner: Sure. I don't have an exact number. I apologize. However, I don't think it's that diverse at all. And I think it's very common in ABA field. It's not just a company that I currently work for, my previous company that I work for, they got the statistics of, don't really identify what's the ratio or the percentage of the racial or the cultural background of the entire employees and what's still not proportionate to population in the United States. So somehow those minorities, the black, Asian or Hispanic population was significantly smaller, especially for the behavior technician, that was similar. But for the BCBA, the supervisor level, it became disproportionate to the actual United States.
Mary: And is that what we see in that? I don't know any statistics. So I'm just kind of interested. So do you know in terms of BCBAs?
Fumi: I do not know. I do know and I apologize. I don't have a most up to date information, but even like a BACB releases that the how many certificates are from a certain country. And that was in my last in-person conference. So that was probably two thousand nineteen. They were saying that they are not even more, I think less than 10 BCBA D level clinicians in Japan. So they were showing the statistics show where it is. So it's very small amount of population as well, specifically for Japan because of the funding for ABA. Doesn't exist, so there is no point really for a lot of people to.
ABA in Other Countries:
Mary: Most countries, ABA funding does not exist. Absolutely. There's very few countries. The United States is definitely the most advanced in terms of funding for ABA. And so it makes it really difficult. And I know BACB, which is the board that certifies that it maintains credentials for us, as BCBADs and for all the BCBAS and RBT. A few years ago, before covid, they made some tough decisions and actually are stopping the international certifications, translations of the exams, because and one of their points was it is just such a little number and such a huge resources monetarily. And just in terms of logistics, it just wasn't possible. And I haven't had any conversations with anybody in charge at the BACB. But I know we're talking about diversity and cultural competence and expanding the BCBA and BCBA D levels throughout the world. But I think it's not going to get much better if there's no testing in other languages. And it did definitely put a halt to some of that movement.
Dr. Horner: Yeah, my understanding for that is to really help the their own. Board or association like that in each country to develop instead of BACB kind of going outside of the United States or Canada to kind of I don't want to say the word dictate, but basically setting guidelines and standards so like..
Mary: And to monitor and to create. And yes, I do remember that. Thank you for pointing that out, is that they do want other countries to develop it. And they just felt like they couldn't do it to the degree where it would make sense because of all these cultural differences and logistics. And it's kind of each country needs to develop funding streams and that just takes years of advocacy.
Dr. Horner: Absolutely. Absolutely. So that's the biggest reason that I wanted to go back to Japan. And that was remarkable when I learned about ABA and autism treatment when I lived in California. Was that in Japan, well, at least to my knowledge, a lot of public school system, they go to either a general education classroom or a special ed. It's not really kind of separated based on the functional level or the what they are able to do. What's more, maybe whoever can follow the general instruction instructions or who cannot and those ones who cannot follow the general education classroom instructions will just be in this one big group. And to my understanding, there is not much transitionally in between. It's more of, OK, how can you still stay in this side of the group and. Adapt to the society and maybe learn some vocational. It's not really a focus on how to work this group of children back in a general education or inclusion or a more restrictive environment. It was there was not much conversation happening back then. And I actually participated in a parent conference in Japan over a while ago. There were a couple of parents advocating to the state, well prefecture in Japan, in the saying that they didn't want their child to use that as a kind of social studies example because of his inability or because his visibly looking quite different from the rest of the peers in the classroom. I don't think the parents were advocating that they didn't want their child to be used as an example. And a teacher will say, hey, you know, look at so and so, and so and so has as disability, then everybody tried to be nice. So they didn't want that conversation at all. So they rather keep keeping their children in the special education side. And they didn't want that inclusion for a little bit of time, so they didn't want the transition. So that was the conversation that I thought that was very interesting. They had a lot of cultural implication, difference. The implication in terms of what the parents want and also the expectations that, hey, we can't we can train and we can that those kids can learn and they can learn to communicate and play with the other kids and include them in so they can have more access to the fun activities in the world other kids have access to. I think that does specifically that interaction. That was very interesting for me that the parents didn't really think that what's going to happen or I think they were like, OK, please don't even bother and then we'll just stay on this side. So I think that the expectations are so different than because there are no funding, there's no funding, there's no conditions advocating, hey, we can actually work together to expand their expectations, increase their expectations. So that made me think that, OK, the ABA, it's so different. We look at that environment and see what we can modify. So the child is going to be going to be successful and acquire more skills that they never had before. And they come into contact with the new reinforcers, something that they like that they didn't like before, because we do a lot of introducing new activities and items or toys or including peers to gradually transition that they can successfully play with, do those things independently. So that conversation and just the whole this education and knowledge that I had a pleasure to learn here is that I really have to somehow disseminate, bring this back to Japan and do more parent webinar. And again, because of the funding, it's so limited and there are families who are receiving ABA in Japan, but they are a lot of times they have they are using Tricare, which is the military funding, or maybe some families who are able to afford a privately out of pocket. So it is extremely limited. So we are working, hoping to establish some kind of like what you mentioned, a board association that has a exam to set the standard for the conditions that they provide services, ABA services in Japan. And so I was actually involved in a translation of those exam into Japanese, too. So those people who are interested in getting that certification can take the exam and get certified in Japan and practice as a certified clinician. So we, I was getting involved with that. And hopefully that will be one step towards having more funding and recognition as of ABA for children with autism as a treatment.
Mary: Yeah, I know my first book, the verbal behavior approach is in Japanese. It's in, I think, 14 or 15 languages. Now, my new book, Turm Autism Around, is actually going to come out in four languages. So far, Japanese is not one of them. But you brought up a couple points that I think if you have a young child, regardless of where, if even if they are just showing early signs of autism, just a little speech delay, no matter what language you speak or whatever, if you understand English and you can get Turn Autism Around and start the process or join the online course. But I think once it comes time for school age programming, I think that is when things get really dicey, especially as you described, like you can either have full inclusion, maybe with an aide to kind of keep your child on track. But that aide is not trained or supervised. So that's really not a great situation. Or you can have a completely special ed situation where, you know, we know ABA is happening either. And without that middle, then you really don't have individualization and help. And I know a lot of families are listening out there and they're like, OK, so when we have that choice, what should we do? And I, I also think it changes as the child ages. So my son Lucas is twenty five now and he has moderate severe autism and intellectual disability. And when he was in preschool and even in kindergarten first and second grade, you know, he was able to be included for music and art and gym and and that sort of things. But as. He got older, you know, inclusion becomes like that one parent was describing like just, oh, Lucas is over here, he can't really understand what's going on. And it's like, you know, I saw a teacher once that had on the front, I have autism. And on the back it said, don't waste my time. And so sometimes inclusion, if the other option is more, you know, more one to one kind of teaching, which is good, it's just like sometimes there's not a great choice. It's like this full inclusion with an aide that isn't trained or supervised or just sitting in a class with doing calendar time with six other special ed students, neither of which are are good options. So how do you help parents decide which? And I do have, I actually have a video blog that we can link in the show notes about how I would assess whether school or home or whatever your situation is, because it doesn't have to be called ABA or or inclusion or it doesn't have to be called something in order to make it good. It could be a life skills class with a really talented teacher and maybe some behavioral analysis, you know, mixed in. That could be the right fit.
Inclusion Versus Separate Special Education in Schools:
Dr. Horner: Sure. I think that when it comes to those the inclusion with the aide into that classroom type of a situation, what I always recommend to those families who are the because their children has the prerequisite skills to be successful in that setting, but they definitely need some facilitator instruction or facilitator approach. And that has to be systematic and not just I'm going to throw this kid into this big group of children with a little aide, who has no idea whats expected or what does this child knows and doesn't know that those type of things. So the aide has to be first trained and their assistance has to be very systematic, meaning that I'm going to walk him through it and be with a group and maybe do certain activities with the rest of the children. But my goal for today or this week is I'm going to provide a full assistance and because I do, ABA will take data on it. And if he's able to follow through with a routine, with my full guidance, then I'm going to step back next week. So I'm going to gradually increase the expectation that the child doesn't need me. I must still be there physically in case he's having a bad day or he didn't sleep well. So he's very tired and I can step in to support. But that aide has to be there. So they see or he can make the decision, take data and assess and be able to step back very systematically and maybe reinforce the child's participation or attendance within the group. So that's, it has to be very systematic. And there has to be what you just described, there is has to be some one on one intensive teaching to prepare the child how to set up him or her up for success in that group. It's not like, oh, because he can do A-B-and-C, I'm going to just start sending him to this group with the aide. So in case that fails, the aide is there to support. It's not a backup plan that the aide is there to really facilitate what he or she can do in that situation and systematically figure your assistance to promote the child's independence gradually. So that piece a lot of times the school, when the schools are planning for the transition, well, let's do the inclusion. That sounds great to many of us initially, but the planning, strategic planning is missing. Therefore, uh, you know, Johnny is in a class, but he couldn't... and he's sitting there, but he's not really participating. So, like what you just said, is it really worth his time? Just be part of the group when he's actually not learning or participating within activities.
Every Child and Family has Different Needs:
Mary: And, you know, a segregated special education setting could be totally the right fit for any individual child as a long term placement, as a temporary placement. And I don't want parents out there to feel like, oh, since he couldn't, quote unquote, make it in regular general education setting, now he's failed. I've failed. Each child has their strengths, their needs, their neurologic differences. And so, you know, it's about each child reaching his or her fullest potential may have to be safe, they have to be as independent as they possibly can, and they have to be as happy as they possibly can too. And so we should all, as a field, be striving, whether that is a child with different language, a first language, then the class, or whether that's any child from any country and any ethnicity. We didn't get really into any religious differences. But I mean, there's so many differences now around the world. And it's great that your organization is in several states and you are heading the way in terms of diversity and research and moving the field forward. And so I do think that we are making strides in the field to help people from all countries and from the start. People from other countries have looked to the United States for the research, for the treatment, for the advocacy efforts as a model, and hopefully we can continue to serve as a model and an open ourselves up a little bit more to a more diverse workforce, more diverse clients. You know, the other the other thing that is that usually moms like me, white, educated, are going to be like, you know, looking into things very forcefully, getting in line, fighting for services. And sometimes many times if if somebody is in this country and English is not their first language and have their cultural differences, you know, they may not know that how persistent to be. And so they're already not in a great position. So we need to help those people and boost them up and give them access to ABA and to good therapy so that their children can make progress, too.
Dr. Horner: Absolutely. And I think what you like, what you have the online course for parents to possibly take, even from the parents, from rural areas or country that the ABA services is only they hear about or they see on the Internet, but not as readily available to them. I think those online courses that for parents to take, it's something that it's very meaningful. And I wish that it's been translated into every language because that it's so neat. It and some parents have contacted me because they speak Japanese and they want to share their experience and possibly support other families, whose in a similar show, you know, fighting with all the school related stuff, insurance and dug in in addition to language barrier, what to do, I always recommend that the support group nowadays, the social media, and made it so easy to connect to other people who don't live close to you at all. And there are a lot of online courses like yours included, obviously are easily available for them. So I think they are really glad to see there are so many more options for those families who don't have easy access to quality ABA.
Mary: Yeah, well, I learned a lot. Thank you so much for joining us. We always end the same way, too. So part of my podcast goals are not just to help the little children or the bigger children, it's also to help parents and professionals be less stressed and lead happier lives. So we're always interested in knowing from our guests, do you have any stress reduction techniques or self care skills that you do for yourself to manage your stress and happiness levels?
Dr. Fumi Horner's Secret to Managing Stress and Happiness:
Dr. Horner: Sure, I do a lot of self reflection, and when I do self reflection, it's a very quirky thing that I do. It's the, I like to be in public and see. Other people around, instead of doing that in my room, that it's quiet and just, yes, it's probably easier for me to just focus on what I feel and how I see myself. But I like to be in public and see the world around me and kind of gives me a perspective that, OK, whatever is stressing me out, it's probably it's not just me. A lot of people there have their own differences. They have their own struggles and challenges that they are facing and also improving on a daily basis. So that kind of makes me think that, OK, I'm not the only one, probably everywhere that I see have their own things that they are working on and things that they are struggling with. And that doesn't mean that they're going to be sad and angry about it and they are completely looking OK and functioning. So that kind of encourages me that, know, I could and I really focus on what you have and not focusing on what you don't have and appreciate things that you learn taking feedback. It's difficult for a lot of people that is. But I always see that as an opportunity for me to see the other perspective that I didn't have an opportunity to learn their perspectives and what how I can grow from it. So that's always that's how I saw the feedback and those opportunities. So and I like to be in the public places.
Mary: I like that. I know. I was just saying the other day somebody was talking about meditation and that sort of thing. And I, I, I actually agree with you. I would rather like get out. I talk to people like that's what helps me reduce my stress is being more social because I, I spend my day really just doing online, like this. And so I like to be out and about too, but I like that kind of going out in the public and doing a self reflection in public that's so unique and unique stress management technique that I haven't heard. So thank you so much for me. I enjoyed getting to know you better and I'll be looking for more great work. And can people follow you or your work or you want to put that in the show notes or let us know how how people can connect with you if they have more to talk about?
Dr. Horner: Yeah, I would definitely share that with you. I have a LinkedIn page that anyone could follow. I don't have my own blog or website, but I will.
Mary: So LinkedIn, Fumi Horner, is that? Okay? So Fumi, F-U-M-I Horner on LinkedIn is how you can follow her. Will like that in the show notes as well. And thanks again, Fumi, for all your time today.
Dr. Horner: Thank you very much for having me. It's been a great experience.
Mary: If you're a parent or professional and have benefited from the information you learn from me on this podcast or from my Turn Autism Around Book or from my online courses, I would love to hear about your success. Please go to MaryBarbera.com/success and fill out a very short survey on the survey you could upload your book or podcast review or you can share a picture or video and tell me how your life has been impacted. I will personally review everything submitted and I would love to hear from you. I'm on a mission to turn autism around for millions of children around the world so that each child can be as safe, as independent and as happy as possible by writing a Turn Autism Around, Amazon or podcast review. And by sharing your story with me, you'll be able to help others find out about the term autism around resources so they can start turning things around, too. I can't wait to hear all about your success at MaryBarbera.com/ success. Thanks so much.
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