ABA is abuse… yes all ABA.

ABA is abuse… yes all ABA.

Because:

The ultimate objective of ABA is to make the Autistic child indistinguishable from their peers. This holds NeuroDivergent People to NeuroTypical standards, which is cruel and sets us up for failure.

We are not and will never be NeuroTypical – ignoring this fact helps nobody.

ABA’s messaging suggests that natural Autistic ways of doing things are wrong and you are broken, and therefore must be corrected – that the Autistic Person is broken and must be molded to be more palatable to non-Autistic people.

This harms Autistic people’s sense of pride and identity.

ABA forces, autistic people to communicate, socialize, regulate, and move in ways that are unnatural and sometimes even uncomfortable in order to ease the lives of people around them or make them more attractive to their peers.

ABA teaches Autistic People that their own needs are less important than pleasing and making people around them comfortable. Making us overly compliant, leaving us more vulnerable to manipulation and abuse.ABA teaches children by rewarding them for “acceptable behaviors” – regardless of if these behaviors are natural or even comfortable for the autistic child.

For example, let’s take eye contact. As an Autistic person, eye contact can feel like a very intimate experience (an experience that I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with someone I did not know very well). Forcing me to make eye contact with a stranger can make me feel very uncomfortable almost as if they’re looking at me in my underwear. We wouldn’t and ask a child to let an adult touch them in a way that made them uncomfortable.

ABA teaches Autistic people that it’s okay if you are uncomfortable, as long as you are pleasing other people.The goal for autistic people should be to help them express and get their needs met, not to teach them that their needs are less valid than the needs of people around them.

Even the sales pitch, ABA uses as manipulative, ABA uses fear mongering tactics to scare parents into unnecessary early interventions for Autistic children.

They scare parents by telling them all the things their kid may never do because they are Autistic and set up ABA as the only solution to the “problems” of having an Autistic child.

They guilt trip parents. They claim that you need to start ABA as soon as possible to give Autistic children the best chance at life and if you don’t do ABA, they’re going to make you out to be a bad parent, because you “must not want the best for your child.”

ABA is expensive. I poked around online for just a few minutes and I found a bunch of different prices that range from $15,000 a year to $50,000 a year.

Services can cost from $100 to $120 an hour. And so if a family is even paying for 10 hours a week, that’s easily $1000 a week, times 50 if we give the kids a couple of weeks off in the year, that’s $50,000 right there for just 10 hours a week of ABA.

Some kids are in ABA for 40 hours a week or more on top of school or during school. These poor kids have no childhood. They are constantly under this behavior modification framework and the costs for Autistic Conversion Therapy can be astronomical over an Autistic Person’s lifetime, when there are better things parents could spend their money on that would actually help their child, instead of this horrible abusive manipulative “therapy”.

Autistic people do not need therapy just for being Autistic. If you want to help your Autistic child and you are being pressured into ABA therapy, please remember the following:There is no way to know what your child will be capable of as an adult.

Don’t let anyone pressure you into something you’re not comfortable with and may regret in the future.

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3 thoughts on “ABA is abuse… yes all ABA.

  1. I didn’t enroll my child in ABA, but I will always wonder if it would have helped her with social communication with peers. Making eye contact was not important to us as her parents, but learning social engagement is important. She also flaps, and although adults understand, peers her own age do not. She does not have typically developing friends. Only 2 friends that are also Autistic. She is in high school and kids are mean. I fear that doing only speech therapy and OT therapy up to 1st grade was not enough. She did not have therapy after that has she never had any challenging behavior and we thought we would focus our limited funds for her elsewhere. I wonder how she will do at a job interview. Flapping when she is nervous. Will an employer ever see past that, who knows.

    1. I encourage you to focus on other things instead of worrying about what she can’t or won’t do. First of all, certainly some employers will be able to look past nervous flapping, or she’ll learn how to prepare until she’s not nervous, but past that, maybe she’ll start a business and be her own boss. Maybe she’ll turn her attention to parenting. Maybe her spouse will also be autistic or otherwise neuroatypical and that will be okay, because they’ll be able to figure out what works for them! If kids weren’t being mean about signs of her autism, I PROMISE they would be mean about something else, the autism is not causing this.

      If she’s happy and basically functional, having a lot of friends or having a great time in high school is not important. High school sucks for everyone. She has college to find and make her real friends, where no one has the time to play Mean Girls.

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