ABA & “Autism Parents”

One of the many things Autistics are trying so hard to change the narrative on is ABA “therapy”. Right now in many countries ABA “therapy” (or similar techniques but by a different name) in the number one “treatment” for autism. Insert long ass eye roll here. My first questions is what the fuck needs to be treated? Autism is not an illness and while it is a neurodevelopment disorder (and a disabling one for many) its not a disease or illness that needs treatment, but I am digressing a little bit here. In a semi local support group I brought up how harmful ABA is (I will do a master post later on this and include many many links I have gathered about it). An Autism parent in true autism parent fashion decided to jump in.

screen shot reads Selfdxautie totally disagree with you! You must looks at the individual child. My son took language with an SLP, tutor to learn but UNTIL we got into ABA we could not get his behaviour under control. Once we got ABA the other therapies took off like a rocket. So your advice is not necessary the best in my opinion. You have to look at the childs strengths and deficits to determine the right path.
Screen shot of my Reply reads: No just no behaviour is communication “controlling” it diminishes that form of communication. ABA is inherently abusive. You don’t get to have an opinion on what many autistics have deemed ableist and harmful. You can not disagree with something that affects a marginalized group to the very core of the people in that group. All ABA did was take away his Autonomy and taught him to mask his discomfort. ABA does not actually look at strengths and those “deficits” are areas where SUPPORT and ACCOMMODATIONS are needed. Not forcing Autistics to Comply with what non autistics deem acceptable. Serious question, if your child had not been autistic and was showing “unmanageable behaviour” would you have ought to change the behaviour? Or would you have tried figuring out the why? The root cause in order to support and guide? Why is it that when children are autistic and showing their “unruly behaviour” they need therapy to CHANGE IT? Why are autistics not given the same consideration that there might be a wht/ root cause that needs addressing?
Screen shot of their reply with problem area semi circled and an extra box containing my thought on the reply. Autism Parents reply reads the root cause of his not getting anything out of PT SLP and education learning was his behaviours. Do I concentrate on behaviours through discreet trial training the ABA. That was the the root. DO not be offended, by (think they meant my but auto correct) only point was not to dismiss ABA. Again each child is different. The box containing my thought on this reply reads BIGGEST bloody issue right there they IGNORED why the behaviour was happening. This is the largest issue with ABA no matter how “gentle” still abusive always abusive.
Screen shot of my Replies reads: No there was a root cause to the behaviour you missed it thats okay it happens always room to grow learn better and do better. Behaviour is communication. No aba is abusive period. Mentally abusive one of the more subtle forms of abuse. Each child is different yes but ABA is always abusive, its very roots based in conversion therapy (lovaas hand a hand in both). (meant to put had a hand in both damn auto correct on phones.
Autism Parent’s reply reads: I disagree and I am sorry you had a bad experience but to say ABA is abusive is just not true and you are doing an injustice to families. I have been supporting parents for 20 years and I know hundred who thank god for ABA and they would not allow their children to be abused. The motivation is positive reinforcement- how is that abusive. I sorry but i feel you are just wrong and have no clue what ABA is. but I want everyone to realize that ABA IS A GREAT TREATMENT MODEL FOR MANY CHILDREN.

So much fucking ableism to unpack with this conversation. Instead I am just going to sum up the whole thing in a few words. Autism parents insist that nothing is wrong with ABA even though the evidence to the contrary is put in front of them. Many don’t bother reading through the blogs, mass resources ect proving to them that any short term gain with ABA will have LONG TERM harmful side effects. That not why I do this though. I engage with these kinds of parents because I know there are others sitting in the wings “listening” to the conversation. They are the audience I hope to reach and direct to autistic approved and/ or run resources.

Blogs to follow: Mass Resource on ABA and its Harm followed by a Mass resource on Ivar Lovaas both resource lists courtesy of fellow Autistics who’ve put effort into writing the blogs and creating mass lists of their own.

Published by selfdxautie

I am an Undiagnosed Non-Binary person (she/they). I stumbled across pro neurodivergent autistics by pure chance and now I help spread the information they want Parents and even our fellow autistics to know has there is a lot of misinformation out there about Autism.

4 thoughts on “ABA & “Autism Parents”

    1. I don’t do it for niceness. Just inner code. Tokenized autistics though are a different matter imo. They will be revealed so other’s know which Autistics need help working on internalized ableism…or know to avoid those ones….or if said Autism Parent has an actual page.

      These are from a closed group, while still public also not public if that makes sense.

      Liked by 1 person

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