Monday, January 07, 2008
Autism and ABA - Conor Is Eager To Get Back to School and ... ABA
Today was the first day back to school after Christmas vacation in our school district. For Conor that meant return to his Teacher Aides, his structure and routine and ... his Applied Behavior Analysis, (Discrete Trial Training version). And he couldn't wait to get back to school this morning. Conor was dressed, had his back pack in hand, and was on the step eager to get to school ... a good 20 minutes before it was time to leave.
There are some very high functioning autistic adults who claim that ABA violates the human rights of autistic persons and deprives them of their personalities. Some of those who make the claim are very intelligent and articulate adults who were not even diagnosed as autistic until their late teen and adult years; some had no involvement with ABA. These anti-ABA activists, by virtue of their excellent communication skills, do not share the same realities of life as Conor. Conor is echolalic, with limited understanding and command of language, without ABA we would have had no effective way to communicate with and teach him to adapt to the world, to the best of his ability, as we all must do.
The anti-ABA activists do not speak for Conor. He speaks for himself when he waits eagerly for his ABA therapist to arrive at home. Conor speaks for himself when he dresses for school 20-30 minutes early; eager to get back to school to his Teacher Aides, his routines ... and his ABA (DTT) based education.
ABA is a violation of Conor's human rights? A theft of his personality?
Conor's happy face says otherwise.