I am grateful for ABA but I have learned that I can’t follow it all or nothing as I first thought I needed to. I remember talking to my husband while I was attending a two week workshop on ABA. I told him that we needed to follow this program, be on the same page, do it exactly like they said it. He was ADAMANTLY against that ideology. He told me he wasn’t going to follow the strategies until he researched them. I was angry, but I listened. It has been a year since we started ABA. There is much that has benefited us, and Chase. I love our ABA specialist. Chase loves her. But! And here it is, I no longer tell Chase to look at me when I want him to listen. I ask him to show me he is ready to listen. He does, and he does it with a smile. The eye thing, always made him antsy. I didn’t want to curb his stimming. It was his way of showing me he was overstimulated, or needed an outlet for his energy. I didn’t want to take that away from him.
I don’t want to change my child, and now that my husband has been diagnosed I don’t want to change him either. I want them both to find ways to deal with what makes them uncomfortable. I want to find ways to let them express themselves, their way. I will continue to use bits of ABA, but not all!
A reader asked a question this morning on Diary’s Facebook page. “Jess,” she asked, “how do you feel about ABA?”
I let out a heavy sigh when I saw it. I almost wrote, “I think it’s a hot-button topic and I don’t want to go near your question with a ten-foot pole, but hey, thank for asking!”
But, yeah. Here we are. Me and my ten-foot pole.
ABA has hurt a lot of people. Hell, just talking about it can hurt people who have suffered at its hand. And I don’t want to hurt people. Especially those I really care about. But it’s a valid question and I do think that the conversation matters. So here we go.
I think that, while ABA in its purest form (ie Lovaas), is desperately inhumane, I also think that there are *PARTS* of its more modern methodology that can be applied as *part* of a helpful…
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