My thoughts on ABA (“applied behavioral analysis”) for autistic children, in a nutshell:
· causes C-PTSD and PTSD in many autistic adults who were… exposed to this as children
· Pavlovian dog training, or the equivalent thereof, for autistic children
· what you try to do because you want a neurotypical child and not the autistic child before you
· what parents need to stop inflicting on their children in the way of “aspiring for a neurotypical child”
· the literal end goal of this is to “have a child that is indistinguishable from their neurotypical peers”
· “planned avoidance” is abuse and I don’t care what anyone neurotypical has to say about this
· some clinicians strike the hands of a child when they stim, “even gently”, to get them to stop
· “taking away an autistic child’s special interest to force them to comply” is literally abusing them
· forces compliance without teaching the autistic child why you even want them to comply in the first place
I think I’ve made my thoughts on how ABA is frequently (“almost always”) practiced clear enough.
Love your child for who they are. Aspire to help them be the best version of themselves that they can be.
Don’t aspire to have a neurotypical child, or a child “indistinguishable from neurotypical peers”, when you have a lovely autistic child before you. No matter who they are (did I say that functioning labels are bad?), they will catch on to the fact that you don’t think that they are good enough if you don’t think that they are.
Parents of autistic children focus so much on “curing” their autistic children, “making their children (not) autistic” that in doing so, they very frequently break the autistic child that they have before them. Like I said up above, there is a difference between wanting the child before you to be the best version of themselves that they can be, and to be a completely different child — not at all the actual child that you have before you. I’ll eventually get into functioning labels and how damaging they are over the course of another post, because that would take up a complete post in and of itself to dissect the… rightful problems that are with them, and then they wrap themselves up in being “martyrs to the cause” for their children’s struggles as well.
The question that I want to end with: why is all of this okay to do to autistic children? Only autistic children?