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Thoughts on ABA?

Discussion in 'Autism Spectrum News, Events and Research' started by OnyxM, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. OnyxM

    OnyxM Active Member

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    Greetings!

    I recently got to read some very interesting stuff on the so called 'ABA' method of 'therapy' and most of it has been negative..and from what I saw..understandably so.

    Most recent article was this one: An Adult Autistic Woman Breaks Down the Insidious Trauma Caused By ABA in a Simple Yet Profound Way - Jaime A. Heidel - The Articulate Autistic

    It explains the reasons why ABA is causing deep psychological traumas to autistics who have endured it and I found it very insightful as well as horrifying. If all those things mentioned there are true, I'm horrified that anywhere in this world, there would be people who would think that trying to 'subtly force' one's neurology and natural behavior out of them would be considered 'helpful'. And there are experts who actually do these things..

    Has any of you been through this? Any first hand experience?
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2021
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  2. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    ABA tries to change autistic people into neurotypicals.
     
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  3. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    Agree with @Gift2humanity Remember when they forced deaf people to read lips? Same thing.
     
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  4. OnyxM

    OnyxM Active Member

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    So the general conclusion is right. They basically believe in what AS (autism speaks) does. It sort of reminds me of a very subtle covert form of applied 'eugenics' but in the field of mental health.
     
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  5. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Chaotic Neutral

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    If I recall correctly, ABA was originally desinged to "cure" homosexuals. With the same methods.
    Tells you something about its defenders, does it not?
     
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  6. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    Woof woof? I'm a good doggie.
     
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  7. OnyxM

    OnyxM Active Member

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    It SURE does. That's why I think its core beliefs and methods originate in eugenics related 'ideologies'. In fact, I'm pretty sure if I do a thorough research on its origins I'll be proved right or at least quite close to being right because the last century and the end of the one before that, did suffer a lot from 'ideologies' like those, often masked and portrayed in different styles in various fields, from pure medical/scientific stuff to all kinds of theoretical 'philosophies' or pedagogical practices so it wouldn't be a big surprise. Certain organizations today seem to sort of continue what the previous 2 centuries were trying to achieve, but they do it in a more subtle and 'civillized' way in many occasions, so much that people have to be used to seeing subtle patterns and sneakyness to see it.
     
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  8. OnyxM

    OnyxM Active Member

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    Lol I actually used that reference in a blog with an article about ABA, writing in the comments that ABA treats autistics the same way people treat a new puppy while training it to not pee inside or bark often,etc..
     
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  9. Sapphire K

    Sapphire K Autistic Demigirl! (She/They/It) V.I.P Member

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    Haven't had any first hand experiences (thank goodness). But this seems very screwed up. Reminds me of gay conversion therapy (which is STILL legal in some states for whatever reason).

    Just goes to show: If you degenerate too far from the norm, you get beaten down. The question is if you manage to pull yourself back up and fight back.
     
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  10. Sapphire K

    Sapphire K Autistic Demigirl! (She/They/It) V.I.P Member

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    Not to mention that ABA therapy insults the intellect of Autistic people.
     
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  11. OnyxM

    OnyxM Active Member

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    Exactly! I'm glad you didn't experience that, I hope the world opens its eyes on this and hopefully more and more parents will drop it for good. I kinda feel tempted to spam every autism-parenthood page out there just to aware the parents on the whole deal. It infuriates me that such practices take place and especially under the 'disguise' they put up to fool parents.
     
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  12. Sapphire K

    Sapphire K Autistic Demigirl! (She/They/It) V.I.P Member

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    Just be prepared to have alt accounts ready in case you get banned from those pages. Many of those parenthood pages don't like hearing the ACTUAL truth.
     
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  13. OnyxM

    OnyxM Active Member

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    Which is horrifying on its own..
     
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  14. Sapphire K

    Sapphire K Autistic Demigirl! (She/They/It) V.I.P Member

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    Yep. But what FB group are you planning on doing this to first? I might join in.
     
  15. OnyxM

    OnyxM Active Member

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    I don't have a fb but I think I can join some autism related pages where lots of parents are in. Plus I read somewhere that many fb pages of this content are often a bit too 'controlled' by rules about everything. Like..one 'wrong' word can have you banned if the owners don't approve of it. I think my efforts would go to waste before I could even prove my point lol
     
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  16. Sapphire K

    Sapphire K Autistic Demigirl! (She/They/It) V.I.P Member

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    Makes sense.
     
  17. oregano

    oregano Judgment day: 27/9/2021? V.I.P Member

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    Some keywords for your research, @OnyxM :
    B. F. Skinner
    Behavior modification
    Walden Two
    Matthew Israel
    Judge Rotenberg Center

    Most here know about Matt Israel and the Rotenberg Center, but that is simply a more extreme form of ABA.

    B. F. Skinner was an early 20 century psychologist who believed that humans could be trained like dogs or horses to only exhibit good behaviors and have the bad ones eliminated via "behavior modification therapy". Skinner thought that if a psychologist rewarded "good" behaviors with such things as candy and praise, and punished "bad" ones with "aversives" that consisted of such things as pinches and sharp slaps, that his subjects would eventually no longer exhibit bad behavior at all and would eventually forget how to exhibit bad behavior entirely. He wrote a novel, "Walden Two", which depicted a utopian world where his theories have ended human suffering and aggression.

    A guy named Lovaas (whose first name I can't remember atm) expanded this into what is now known as ABA. He thought that Skinner's theories could cure homosexuality, which at the time was considered a mental illness. Eventually Lovaas started claiming ABA could cure autism, which was largely viewed through the ideas of Bruno Bettelheim who thought that autism was simply a learned misanthropic behavior system caused by lack of parental affection in childhood. The idea was that autistic behaviors would be consistently punished until the subject would cease to exhibit them. Most of us here had parents with similar ideas, and of course all the beatings in the world didn't suffice.

    Today, ABA basically resembles the ways in which wild animals are "broken" or subdued. Autistics are treated as feral humans in need of forced socializing.
     
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  18. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I am not informed enough to really judge. But I have learned a lot from my wife who is a master teacher in special education and behavior analylist. I essentially have surveyed many courses as she does them mostly online now and outloud in the room we both hangout in.

    Done properly, it seems to me to be a very valid approach and one (of the few) that has a large body of supporting studies behind it. But with difficult issues, like autism, there is no 'One Size Fits All' and if its not working another methodology has to be tried. ABA is not only looking at modifying behaviors but also being of material and emotional benefit to the individual and has a strong ethics component.

    So I suspect much of the problems with it come from teacher/practioners who only half understand it or are just bad at it frankly. So often you see emotions take over and the teacher/practioner not applying the principles correctly or in such a distorted manner as to be useless or worse.

    Another common problem is the parents/guardians doing something completely different in the home. So what progress is made each day is lost every night.
     
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  19. Skittlebisquit

    Skittlebisquit Keep trying to be as amazing as you really are

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    ....."some day, I'll be, big enough that you can't hurt me..."
    .." all you're going to be is mean.."
    It was a song on the radio, forever ago, when everyone was still around, before the longbreaking and the silence. Its raining again here. Always the rain
     
  20. Skittlebisquit

    Skittlebisquit Keep trying to be as amazing as you really are

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    I found the sing kinda. The modern ways are so strange. Someone else sang it too. It was a while ago