Working on a sizable post myself, but this article deserves special recognition.
This is such an important post for people to understand. I am an Autistic that grew up PTSD, hating myself for being broken. That lasted until I was 31, thankfully my parents had nothing to do with how I felt. I was not exposed to ABA, I was simply tormented by others for being the way I am. Not that different of an end result, and it is easy for me to empathize. I’ve had a lot of people that genuinely wanted to help try to “normalize” me instead of understand me or accept me as I am. I’m also working to try to get high profile allies to help shut down the The Judge Rotenberg Center, because it could have easily been me in that place.
My challenge to behaviorists is to forget the studies they automatically defer to, and rationalize it to the best of their ability in their own words without using those old studies as a crutch.
Check out where JRC is showing up now: http://autisticadvocacy.org/2015/05/asan-statement-on-jrc-at-association-for-behavior-analysis-international-conference/
Honestly, I don’t think much is going to change as long as Autism Speaks doesn’t change. Why on Earth are they not be sounding the alarm on JRC?
Trigger Warning: ABA, ableism, institutionalized child abuse
[Image Description: A bright red door with a brass knob and a faded mail slit. To its left, there is a long, dark windowpane with some decoration and smudges. The door itself has chips in its paint and markings on it, despite the bright color. It is closed, possibly locked.]
When I first became an ABA Therapist, I was thrilled. I was actually going to use my psych degree, get paid more than minimum wage, and above all, make a positive difference in Autistic children’s lives. Or at least, that’s what I thought.
Now I look back, and the year I spent working in ABA is my single greatest regret.
When I left, it wasn’t a decision I made overnight. It was a long, difficult process, full of denial and confusion. I don’t enjoy talking about it because I did so many wrong things that…
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