No facility (or person) that condones or excuses torture like that at the Judge Rotenberg Center is safe for your child to be near. The fact that Charlie is learning skills in his natural environment, at home, makes it easier for him to generalize skills and take them outside the home. I live in the UK and we don’t really have ABA here. Some of them are poorly run and the methods used are imprecise and borderline abusive. She has a music degree and a “Master of Arts in Transformative Leadership”. THIS IS ABA. – Have you lobbied the BACB to get more stringent ethical guidelines so that children are protected from harmful practices like those currently in use at the Judge Rotenberg Center? Charlie’s happy running in the street in front of cars. For a master’s graduate, I expect master’s level performance. Something I had nothing to do with. Kupferstein, H. (2018). ABA Success Stories . How the ABA Industry Endorses the Use of Electric Shock Devices on Autistics: http://autisticbride.co.uk/2019/05/24/how-the-aba-industry-supports-the-use-of-electric-shock-devices-on-autistics/. Think for a moment how exhausted you, a grown adult, are after 40 hours of work in a week and you will begin to understand why we get so concerned about putting a three-year-old child through such a grueling schedule. There are horror stories in every profession, and counseling has some too. Thanks to his ABA therapists, Charlie can now communicate basic needs with an app on his iPad, called ProloQuo2go. Let’s go back to the example of a social story about sharing toys. Here’s your chance to describe your bad experience with the Therapist From Hell. I found your article very insightful and well-balanced and close to the conclusion I had come to already. Intensive repetitive forced behaviour all for a bite of cookie is abusive. I work with an awesome team and we all love our kids. If not, will you do so? I appreciate that not all ABA is good. I love the bit in this where all the autistic people that have done this and hate it are just ‘crying ableism’. Charlie’s ABA therapy is play-based. Cooking, cleaning, travelling, seeing loved ones, and the change in routine can get to the best of us. If we have a concern about anything, she’s available to discuss and adjust Charlie’s therapy plan. There is absolutely no need for an extrinsic reward like a cookie (aside from the issues around sugar defeating the teeth cleaning lessons LOL). I think a bit of context is necessary here. Before we take a deeper look into the arguments on both sides, it’s important to note that like many other specialities, like psychology, ABA therapy has evolved tremendously throughout the years. Created by : Camel Design. And if we haven’t experienced ABA for ourselves how can we totally discount the voices of those who have, whether this is “new ABA” or not? Thousands of British children have done this for many years, I chose the two examples as they resonate with the life stage we are currently at. Under the same assumptions, I ask the same question in regards to hand flapping. How can social stories be used in ABA therapy? It’s during these times that I have interrupted stimming and redirected the learner to whatever it is we’re working on. My one question that still lingered, is one you touched on, but didn’t really elaborate on, which is in regards to stimming. Hi Becky, Happy as a clam, able to function beautifully in society, has friends…is an all around different kid. By Alyssa Shelasky. Charlie is perfectly happy playing in the cat’s litter box. Run like hell. Keeping him in mind though, while it is important to me that he is happy with himself however he may be, I think its important that he becomes aware of others and being mindful of others feelings. For some reason, I volunteered to help out a teacher. Ethical guidelines that allow torture are insufficient to protect your child.) The types of places that don’t realise that I child can actually SPEAK after being in a provision for 2 whole years. Additionally, don’t hesitate to speak your mind if the therapists are doing something that makes you feel uncomfortable. While I understand some of the concerns with ABA therapy, in my opinion, when done well, administered by caring people who are open to criticism and who keep a child’s best interest in mind, ABA is the best therapy for children on the autism spectrum. My pompous ego was aghast, she couldn’t do this! (If no, run. I love reading comments like yours. I’m all for listening to people and moving with the times but there is so much aggression from the haters directed towards anyone who views it positively. Though this is becoming less common, it may explain the more current ABA horror stories you read on the internet. Found your blog on Instagram & your link popped out at me! I walked in the child’s shoes. Beth took the much simpler route of learning how to be more gentle and touch her daughter’s hair in ways that weren’t so painful and awful. Please read the bcba ethics. CONSIDERING INTENSIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY FOR THEIR CHILD WITH AUTISM Part II Courtesy of Virgynia King and Bob King at GraphicTruth on Reddit, send a private message. A person who isn’t willing to speak out against a member of their profession committing torture cannot be relied upon to tell you if it’s happening to your child. Part of the misconception about ABA comes from the fact that there are bad ABA centers, BCBAs, and therapists. There’s nothing wrong with stimming. It saddens me how little importance is given to parents of autistic children. My wife and I are so impressed! Stimming is a way to self-regulate. I’m so glad that ABA therapy worked perfectly for Charlie. In regards to others accepting these behaviors because the person is neurodiverse…I mean I think our culture/society is becoming more aware of neurodiversity and how it presents itself, but the reality is that talking to oneself, rocking back and forth, flapping ones hands will continue to draw people’s attention; these behaviors can cause disruptions and severely limit the opportunities an individual has. ABA is not “one size fits all” and a good. ABA Therapy is not abusive nor is it ablesit, High-functioning autism: The weight of an invisible disability, [Autism] If you never call me mommy, I will still love you just as much, https://www.bacb.com/wp-content/uploads/BACB-Compliance-Code-english_190318.pdf, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko-ip3MImik, http://autisticbride.co.uk/2019/05/24/how-the-aba-industry-supports-the-use-of-electric-shock-devices-on-autistics/. Sure, these people may have had negative experiences as children but ABA therapy isn’t like this anymore, at least not the one Charlie does. I was at a loss before ABA therapy came into our life. “I spend a lot of time thinking about what sets Evie off in any way. Where possibly intrinsic reinforcement is used (if it’s there then you use it).. for some though we don’t always have that luxury. I have watched children struggling to make friends. Could you give me the references of the most important and recent research article son that subject if you can? But you know what? He did so based on principles developed by famed psychologist B.F. Skinner, found in his book, published in 1938. Ne’eman cites a 2008 survey of leaders and scholars in the field of ‘positive behavior … We need to promote intrinsic motivation to help him later in life. I agree that ABA can change a life for the better if done right. Some sessions are less painful than others but today's was particually painful!!! As a pediatric PT, I can tell you what you are doing is not abusive. Some of them are poorly run and the methods used are imprecise and borderline abusive. I say that as an autistic adult who wants to get taken seriously in science. I was at a loss before ABA therapy came into our life. There are no punishments whatsoever. The signs are there if you know how to look for them. It’s making mine easier too. discrimination in favor of able-bodied people. It reminds me of the one sentence advice Temple Grandin’s mom gave, and which I held as sacrosanct: “If it works, keep doing it; if it doesn’t, do something else.” That simple. This therapy that I see day in and day out prevents children from having more teeth removed because they now feel ok about teeth brushing and accessing the dentist, allows a child to feel ok about having a medical assessment without heightened anxiety and gut wrenching parental or hospital staff restraint. Certificate in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) Program. Full of beauty and insight, worth pondering like few books you will ever have the opportunity to read. September 22, 2020. She wanted to break his spirit…if I had been anywhere close to have known that, I would have never had anything to do with her. He now knows what stop means and over time with practice the skill will likely generalize. Our health service exists to support people not make money for “therapists” who insist the child NEEDS 40 hours a week of their expensive services! It is a warm washcloth on your weary face, a safe haven for your scariest feelings, a place to swim in the ocean of you while effectively sipping chicken soup for the soul. If you’ve made it through this jumble of thoughts (there’s more I want to blab about but I worry I’m not articulating myself well enough as it is, haha) thank you for indulging me. If you can access it here are the references: Gardner, F., (2017). Some of them are poorly run and the methods used are imprecise and borderline abusive. Therapists use positive reinforcement to reward wanted behaviors. I wouldn’t do ABA therapy that uses punishment. I would like to tell you more of our story of tragedy in the hope that others can be spared this pain. Hi there, it was interesting to read your thoughts on ABA therapy. But as you mentioned, stimming can be disruptive to those around the individual. My final question is always the same – if ABA is so different now, then why use a name which actually affects autistic adults with PTSD so badly that the very acronym is banned in many support groups? One man had a therapist force him to touch something he found repulsive. But, not all, On the flip side, there is a part of me that sees how, ABA therapy has been a huge help for Charlie, and for us. An easy way to know if a therapist is crossing boundaries is to ask yourself whether you’d be ok with them doing it if your child were neurotypical. Sat on the periphery with no way of navigating the complex dynamic of social interaction. In her free time, Eileen enjoys daydreaming, and road trips. Removing loved things from the child to make them earn it as an reward is abusive and makes the child lose intrinsic motivation and stop sharing what they like. Not in it's original intended form that is. It saddens me how little importance is given to parents of autistic children. Back then they used robotic repetition of learning trials held in sterile rooms, and administered punishment to help autistic people learn new and appropriate skills. ABA principles are utilised in every intervention that works. Read More. I have a feeling if I presented this question to adult autistics in general, it would be met with a backlash of “what about us? An autistic child grows up in a world comprised almost completely of neurotypical people, and they have to learn how to function within it. The first time I mentioned ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy on my blog, it only took a few minutes before someone said to me, “you’re torturing your child with ABA therapy.” This didn’t come as a surprise. In my oppinnion, if you choose the right clinic, where ABA therapy is well executed, it can be really succesful! I watch those children laughing their heads off through the session, reaching out to their therapists to initiate more interaction and to prolong play. – Have you boycotted ABAI conferences that include the Judge Rotenberg Center as a speaker, and have you lobbied for the Judge Rotenberg Center to no longer be included as a speaker? That said, it’s true that some skills learned during therapy aren’t easily applicable to real-life situations. Sorry, I feel like I’m talking in circles here. That said, if you don’t feel comfortable around your son’s therapists, that’s an indicator to me that they may not be the right fit. Dabei ist es dennoch offensichtlich, dass es aus seiner Sicht nur ABA als richtige Therapie sein kann. The thing that’s just so unfortunate is there is not enough research about the long-term effects of ABA- positive or negative. But I also get it, constant stimming may prevent a child from focusing in class. Hmmm.. so he puts his clothing on and he gets to do something fun! What guarantees do I have that you will ALWAYS put my child’s needs above my own, seeing as the ethical guidelines of your profession don’t require you to do this? Help your child navigate through visits with Santa, relatives, receiving gifts, and so much more that comes with this time of year! For instance, we wanted Charlie to gain more independence, so our BCBA designed a program to teach him to brush his teeth and another one to teach him to put on his clothes by himself. We are both defined as the “client”, and no prioritization is given to the needs of the one receiving services over the needs of any other person defined as a client in that document. Our BCBA is incredibly involved in Charlie’s therapy and is always looking for ways to tweak it for improvement. Later, it became clear that rewards worked better than punishment, and punishment, while it might have encouraged learning for some, also produced fear. I have watched the same children make friends, join in with playground games and feel happier and more content. If it takes giving him a cookie to make him stop these dangerous behaviors and learn self-care, as well as communication, then I’m okay with it. Autonomy, the Critical Journal of Interdisciplinary Autism Studies, 1(1). Among other things they’ve taught him to communicate with his iPad, brush his teeth, and use the bathroom. All you have to do is tell us your story in the forum below, and we’ll publish it on the web. I spent a proportion of my career trying to help adults come out of places like this and to live a life of value – their own VALUES, safety and CHOICE! As a parent, I have no desire to stop him from stimming and I would for the most part, object to any objective to make it so. ABA is not “one size fits all” and a good BCBA will work hard to develop the best program for you child. Worked his way through tech school and is a machinist, works on antique cars and steam engine and anything else mechanical. We don't want Abigail to fit in, or to act normal. Obviously some of these people had bad past experiences (like you mentioned), but I find it disdainful that they projected their judgements onto parents who use current day practices & clearly have their child’s best interests at heart. Here are the arguments you will hear against ABA and my thoughts on each of them: This is probably the argument you’ll hear the most about ABA. The car wasn’t damaged at all and almost deliberately placed in the middle of the road. In my case, I found ABA treatment Miami, where they have in-home ABA therapy and parent training, which is so helpful for parents who work. This letter first appeared on the Children Injured By Restraint and Aversives support website. Make of it what you will. I belong to a FB group (NDIS Grassroots) where parents who chose to use this therapy with their autistic children were judged & crtiticsed by Autistic adults who have apparently been traumatised by this method. I spend too much time getting sucked into click-hole articles about the controversy surrounding ABA, but this is the first time I’m replying or engaging with anyone (on the internet) in regards to the topic. Practical application. I wouldn’t do ABA therapy if Charlie’s therapists weren’t caring and loving. 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