This article linked below, and what I’m writing, may be a trigger for autistic people who have had to endure ABA “therapy” simply for having the term ABA. It’s a disturbing blog entry, to say the least.
The writer talks about the most disturbing part of why ABA is torture and invalid as treatment, and should never be used on anyone: the goal is to make autistic people indistinguishable from their non-autistic peers.
We treat our animal companions better when we’re training them, but we’re not training dogs or cats.
We’re raising families. It’s our job to adjust how we parent, not mold our children into a pre-conceived notion of what we imagined our children would be. ABA doesn’t respect the individuality of the person. There isn’t any recognition of bodily autonomy.
When we hear stories like this from former ABA therapists, believe it. It corroborates the hundreds if not thousands of reports from autistic teens and adults that have endured ABA.
The problem, however, is that no one believes autistic people when they share their heartbreaking stories of ABA Abuse until former ABA therapists corroborate the reports. Instead of taking the word of the people who were abused, people wait for evidence and testimony from those who dished it out and are non-disabled; who witnessed it with nothing to gain.
I’m grateful for the community of autistic adults and teens online for sharing their stories. It made it less likely for my daughter to have to endure ABA. We were able to make sure that her PPT team avoided it and her doctors didn’t prescribe it. I just wish that were true for everyone who ever has to go through this.
I abused children for a living. It didn’t look like abuse. It didn’t feel like abuse (at least not to me) but it was definitely abuse. I see that now. Back then, I actually thought I wa…