In my meanderings through the blogosphere and Facebook, I found that ABA is a huge hot-button topic. I haven’t had experience with it, personally, but have found that among autistic bloggers/writers, it was used in such a way that they were incredibly harmed by it and suffered greatly. This post from Diary of a Mom addresses the issue from personal experience, and from experiences shared with her by autistic adults. For those who practice non-manipulative ABA – who are child-centered/led and who use analysis to understand and help, thank you.
Behavior is communication – children who are non-verbal can tell us with their actions that something is unsafe/unhealthy. We have to listen. I highly recommend the book Loud Hands Anthology for those seeking a variety of autistic voices and perspectives.
A reader asked a question this morning on Diary’s Facebook page. “Jess,” she asked, “how do you feel about ABA?”
I let out a heavy sigh when I saw it. I almost wrote, “I think it’s a hot-button topic and I don’t want to go near your question with a ten-foot pole, but hey, thank for asking!”
But, yeah. Here we are. Me and my ten-foot pole.
ABA has hurt a lot of people. Hell, just talking about it can hurt people who have suffered at its hand. And I don’t want to hurt people. Especially those I really care about. But it’s a valid question and I do think that the conversation matters. So here we go.
I think that, while ABA in its purest form (ie Lovaas), is desperately inhumane, I also think that there are *PARTS* of its more modern methodology that can be applied as *part* of a helpful…
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