Fever Dreams and Philosophical Musings

Last night, I fell asleep with a mild fever. My life chased me into my dreams. *** In my dream, my client breaks something while I struggle to help his mother in the kitchen. His ABA team makes him stay up all night cleaning, and in the morning a troop of therapists convenes to discuss… Continue reading Fever Dreams and Philosophical Musings

Breaking Down ABA, Again: Part 3; Some Advantages of ABA Methodology

This post continues from part 2 *** Let me note, before I start, that the advantages I'm talking about here are a matter of applying scientific and behaviorist principles to a situation. This doesn't necessarily require an ABA program-- it's just that, currently, ABA is the primary program in which these methods are used. ABA… Continue reading Breaking Down ABA, Again: Part 3; Some Advantages of ABA Methodology

When ABA Gets It Right: Collaborating with a Client

There's one ABA team I work with who are, on the whole, pretty awesome. I'd like to give a few examples of things that make me happy about them: - They acknowledge, in front of the client, that they know she understands a lot more than she is capable of expressing to us. They say… Continue reading When ABA Gets It Right: Collaborating with a Client

Breaking Down ABA, Again: Part 2: Goals and Underlying Philosophy

[This post continues a series started here] UNDERLYING PHILOSOPHY One major way in which schools of ABA can differ is in their primary goal, their understanding of how ABA methods should be used. *** 1) Traditional Approach: Fighting Against Autism Traditional ABA practitioners believe that it is inherently good for autistic children to appear, act,… Continue reading Breaking Down ABA, Again: Part 2: Goals and Underlying Philosophy

Breaking Down ABA, Again: Part 1; Ethics, Standards, and Side-Effects

[Read the Introduction here] *** SOMETHING IMPORTANT IS MISSING ABA-based therapies are currently considered the only scientifically validated "treatment" for autism in the United States. Let me defer, for the moment, discussing what is meant by "treatment" and whether or not that is an appropriate word to use. Any medical or therapeutic treatment, particularly one… Continue reading Breaking Down ABA, Again: Part 1; Ethics, Standards, and Side-Effects

Breaking Down ABA, Again: Introduction

[This post is being re-written and expanded into a series. The introduction portion is not heavily edited from the original, but the rest is.] So here I’m going to talk, again, about ABA, about the disconnects and disagreements that I see whenever ABA is discussed online in autism-related communities, and about my own thoughts on… Continue reading Breaking Down ABA, Again: Introduction

Breaking Down ABA

So here I'm going to talk, again, about ABA, and about the disconnects and disagreements that I see whenever ABA is discussed online in autism-related communities. I am going to ask that commenters be sensitive to the fact that many autistic people have been deeply traumatized by undergoing an experience that was called "ABA therapy."… Continue reading Breaking Down ABA