Applied Behavioural Analysis – First hand accounts

pinocchioApplied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), one of the first things mentioned when your child receives a diagnosis of Autism.

The paediatrician may recommend it and you are sure to read glowing reports about it.

The ultimate goal of ABA? To make your child indistinguishable from their peers. To stop all self stimulating behaviour and enforce eye contact whether it be uncomfortable or not.

Children complying and a therapist fully in control of the child’s every action, even down to where they look. Try searching ABA harm or tantrums. You will see a very different view then, children screaming and forced to do the same thing repeatedly till the therapist is satisfied that her commands have been followed. Restraining while in meltdown for no other reason then an intense desire to make the child obey, comply.

The Autistic community’s view is predominantly against and after researching I found its not only Autistics but also other professionals and parents who have a dim view of it.

I have spoken to Jane Johnstone who is an Integrative Psychotherapist for her opinion both as a professional and as a mother of two sons Evan and Daniel who are both on the Autistic spectrum.

On asking Jane how she first came to hear of ABA:

“I first heard of ABA when a home tuition grant was sanctioned when my eldest son was diagnosed. Other parents of Autistic children spoke very highly of it and it seemed the answer to our prayers. Evan was just three years old at the time and we wanted to optimise his potential. We heard many pros at the time, we heard stories of non verbal children learning to talk under an ABA programme. ABA at the time offered us hope. Evan was non verbal and we were desperate to chat to our little boy. At the time it was the only firm of communication we knew and we couldn’t foresee how he could progress through life in absence of speech. Little did we know!

Continues Here


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