This is an excellent read. Old post and I am late to the party, but definitely worth re-circling I think as ABA is still unfortunately a go to for parents with children on the autism spectrum.
I have thought about writing a series or post of my opinions having to do with ABA, but I have put it off. It still circles among st my ideas though for future blog posts. Personally I couldn’t have said it better myself and even sounds better coming from someone who was a ABA therapist. So this will have to do for now. 🙂
Please take time to read this, it was very thought provoking, educational, push for the need to change for autistic children and adults. I also thought it was brave and amazing for a therapist like this to open up about their past. To see the wrong and rewrite your mistakes is something very intriguing and as humans we rarely see.
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 was helping those kids. In fact, it was and still is considered ‘therapy.’ And not just any therapy- the most sought-after autism therapy, often the ONLY therapy insurance will cover. To this day it’s lauded as the only “evidence-based treatment” for autism.
You see, I was an ABA therapist. My official title was ‘Behavior Technician’ which in itself is really telling. I was hired off the street with no background in child development, no knowledge of autism or ABA, and no experience working with children, let alone autistic children. I. Literally. Did. Not. Know. What. Autism. Is. And I wouldn’t find out what autism is in the years that I worked there either.
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