A few days ago

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a joke!?

Everything I have read on the internet and in books has trounced every principle and idea on the subject. Many researcher agree that it is one of the worst approaches for your childeren with autism. I hope any parent or teacher of students with diabilities, especially autism, do not attempt to use ABA as a method for positive change. Any body care to disagree…I think not.

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A few days ago

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The problem is that ABA is currently a poorly regulated field. The certification to become a provider is very new and not many people know to require it when interviewing providers. Research has clearly shown that properly implemented ABA programs have been shown to be consistently the most effective intervention for children with autism. A large scale federal study reviewed all the current research on this area and found that ABA had the largest consistent body of research. There are many charlatans out there in the field of ABA and many, many other fields claiming to have the cure or recovery for autism and many families become disillusioned when there children are not cured. Autism for most is a life long disability. There are effective treatments (most seen in the field of ABA) which can greatly mitigate the symptoms and in some cases produce near normal outcomes, but families and those educating children with autism must educate themselves about these practices, not only by name, but by becoming familiar with standards of care and best practice in order to not fall victim to any form of “snake oil” being offered that will cure children with autism.

A few days ago
I have seen positive changes with ABA, not only for my child but others. Most modern practioners don’t use negative reinforcers, so that argument is moot. The school districts don’t use punishment verbal or physical, there are no restraints, that all went out in the 80’s except for a few mavericks who could screw up any method.

With our daughter, who was completely noncommunicative, self-abusive, etc, we started with a very strict ABA schedule full of rewards. It was an easy, repetitive way to get her engaged, alongside more natural floortime/greenspan methods. ABA gave her a robotic sound and affect at first, that’s true, but it’s not the end-all of therapy, any GOOD therapist would move on to apply the methods in natural environments and work on spontaneous interactions. She is now speaking independently, does homework without prompting, does housework freely, all at the age of ten, an age that many typical kids struggle with homework and helping around the house. She still stims, but is happy and a functional member of our community and family. She is respected as a person, for what she can provide. It’s quite unfair to discount it based on poorly countenanced programs.

For the severely autistic, well done ABA can provide a trailhead of therapy from which they can build tracks. Poorly done, it can be damaging, time consuming and abusive. So I guess I did disagree, proof is in the pudding for my family, and the families who receive ABA from the schools in our area.


A few days ago
Do you know anyone who has played a sport before? Let’s just take football for an example. Any little league football player knows that in addition to the 1 month of pre-season training, there are practices 3-5 days a week. In the two hour game, there only about 25 minutes of real playing time. We practice 250 minutes a week for 25 minutes of actual playing time and we don’t argue or call this a silly method. But when we use repeated trials in ABA, you call it a joke?

Yeah, ABA is sort of what we use to train dogs and other animals. The ironic thing, in my opinion, is that many of the elements used in ABA are basically another form of how every single human being learns new things. ABA just brings this it out more so that we can see blatant efforts (such as providing rewards, repeated trials, etc.).

ABA just makes us aware of the same things we do in our own non-autistic lives, such as repeated trials (practicing a golf swing 50 times), getting rewarded (paycheck), and prompting (red light = stop). When doing these with children with autism, ABA just makes us exaggerate the rewards/consequences.

I’m not saying that I agree with 100% of the elements that comprise ABA, but when teaching a student with autism new skills, I’ll personally pull the important and relevant styles from ABA and best use them to help the individual.

Was ABA unsuccessful with your child? Sure, but not every method works with everyone. Has it been successful with other children? Yes.


A few days ago
I totally disagree. The school I work at incorporates the ideology of applied behavior analysis with programming in discrete trials, PECS and natural language development.

Our successes run circles around other autism programs (RDI, Greenspan).

So, why do you believe ABA is a joke? Give us some links to “research-based” disagreements with ABA – not just rants (which you seem to be good at).


A few days ago

Every autist is different and different therapies work differently for each child. Personally, I believe a combination of therapies is the correct approach. It is a real trial and error until you find what combination works for your child.

I am a big advocate for Dr. Stanley Greenspan’s Floortime as it is engaging the child through THEIR interests not what you want the child to learn your way. ABA does have a place and use at times, but I believe only after reaching a consistent level of engagement and many other skills with the child.

I have seen the robots children become when ABA is the only therapy used. The children have little if no social skills or imaginative play. It’s heartbreaking and at times cruel.


A few days ago
Is that a question? Please go to the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis to read the research there. I have a feeling that some folks don’t really understand applied behavior analysis. It is simply changing the environment to make things work better for the child, teaching a behavior and creating positive reinforcement for the new behavior. Please do some reading before condemning a filed that is actually well researched.

A few days ago
It is terrifying to watch this method applied to young children. Personally, I have a real problem with physical restraints (of any kind) and yelling until the child does what is instructed. It’s kind of like you wear the kid down for 40 hours a week until he/she becomes a robot who is indistinguishable from their peers. You have not eliminated the autism (like they claim to do), you have simply desynthesized a human being from life in general and modified their behavior to do everything opposite of what feels natural to them.

For What?

So the parent feels better about how their child is viewed in public. Disgusting!

What you don’t see is behind the scenes, when the person who was subjected to this brainwashing is all alone, they are behaving very much like the “typical” autistic. They have just been conditioned to be ashamed of who they are. Now that the homosexuals are out of the closet, society wants to put the autistics in it because it makes them uncomfortable.

But don’t take my word for it. Research for yourself how ABA has impacted many autistics and their thoughts on it now that they’re young adults.


A few days ago
Angie M
I am glad to see I am not the only one who does not like it. I am the mother of three children who have autism. We use what is called TEACH ( I can’t remember what it stands for) it includes all methods out there.

To me ABA is like training your dog. Do this you get a treat do it wrong your told no and you have to do it again until you get it right.

Someone else I know described it as making a child into a robot. This is how this is done and you will be programmed to do it this way each and everytime. Like a robot it becomes a function with out any emotion invovled.


A few days ago
Clays mom
I have a 5 yr old we use ABA but not in the strict form as they tried to get me to start with that leads to way to many behavorial issues… start slow and spontanous. I have seen results from it. Again we don’t do the sit in the chair directly infront of me…. we could be in the pool and he may want to ride on my back and I will ask him questions he cant ride until he gets them right.. I am terrible with the record keeping. but when you ask a child the same question over a few day period and they keep getting it right. well they have it…. Now it does have the draw back of I may ask what is your bubbies name?? he says joey then his teacher says what is your brothers name? he doesnt respond he doesnt know of brothers just bubbies so we have to cross teach that which sucks

A few days ago
Are you having trouble with your school district? I have to say from personal experience, ABA was not successful for my child with Autism.

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