Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Autism's Worst Anti-ABA Rhetoric Award 2007

The anti-ABA ideologues who lobby incessantly to keep parents from gaining access to proven effective Applied Behavior Analysis intervention for their autistic children have produced some incredible excesses over the years. Particularly noteworthy is the ludicrous claim that helping autistic children by ABA methods infringes the civil rights of autistic persons. According to the anti-ABA internet crowd helping a child make the gains reported in the recent American Academy of Pediatrics autism reports is actually a violation of the human rights of autistic persons; an imposition of the values of the Neurologically Typical on autistic children. A comment today on Ed's Autism Page is so outrageous it deserves a new award "Autism's Worst Anti-ABA Rhetoric Award, 2007".

In Behavioral Reformation the host of Ed's Autism Page actually equates behavior modification with some of the major acts of oppression and aggression committed by European and American powers in the last 400 years including the aggression against the native inhabitants of the American continents, enslavement of African people, and the violence against those accused of withcraft. Ed, an autistic adult, makes it clear that this authoritarian based behavior modification is exactly what is being used today to oppress autistic persons:

Rather than accept public responsibility, overcomers of what are considered afflictions of thought, perception, or behavior, are glorified and if the one whose behavior is seen as "abnormal" cannot be punished in a way that society will readily agree with, the force that dictates the person's behavior must be seen as either demonic, provoked by disease, or promoted by genetic defect that must be eliminated.

What is important to remember is that once a behavior can be described to the public as wrong instead of different, it can and does lead to the worst and most savage methods of the behavior modificationists. Those who modify behavior that is different in the justified name of "correcting what is wrong" go unpunished and their methods (once justified in this way) are not only accepted, they are promoted. These are the REAL wrongs that need to be researched, investigated, and fixed!

It takes a lot to beat the rhetorical excesses of those who ascribe all manner of evil to allegedly misbehaving behaviorists but the host of Ed's Autism Page seems to have pulled it off. Is it possible to talk to the host of Ed's Autism Page and suggest that using behavior modification to eliminate self aggressive behavior by an autistic child is not really oppressing the autistic child ?


Alyric said...

"Is it possible to talk to the host of Ed's Autism Page and suggest that using behavior modification to eliminate self aggressive behavior by an autistic child is not really oppressing the autistic child ?"

Sure! Remember Kit Weintraub the spokesperson for unlimited ABA? You have quoted her in the past. Here she is again:

“I have two kids with autism, one, a girl, twelve, who is extremely self-injurious. We have run a very high quality ABA program for her for years, but could never get rid of the self-injurious behaviors. Only on risperdal are they reduced, and we have seen her gain close to 100 lbs on the medication. We have had all sorts of behavioral experts come in and try to extinguish the behavior with positive behavioral interventions, unfortunately, they did not work.”

Reference: http://judgerotenbergcenter.blogspot.com/2006/04/comments-submitted-to-jrc-from-mother.html

Unknown said...

Thanks for visiting and commenting Alyric. I had no idea you were an advocate for Risperidone (Risperdal) or other medication of autistic children.

On the assumption that you have accurately quoted Ms Weintraub I am not sure that I see your point. If ABA was insufficient to address the self injurious behavior of Ms Weintraub's daughter that does not negate the point at all. ABA has been documented to help many autistic children in reducing and/or eliminating self injurious behavior. We have used ABA methods to help my son. ABA has also helped him learn and increased his our mutual ability to communicate. Far from oppressing him, or other autistic children, ABA has helped them in many important areas.

To equate ABA assistance for autistic children in need with the oppression of native Americans, Africans and even alleged witches is absurd. If you and Ed of Ed's Autism Page want to continue with such silly arguments it will make everyone aware of how ridiculous the whole anti-ABA movement is in the first place, so "fill your boots", and continue with the absurdity.

Anonymous said...

Would you mind if I translated your post to German and post it on the website of a German autism organization run by autistic people? As ABA is not used that much in Germany yet, it is difficult to get actual information of people with first hand experience with that technique and we want to present a balanced view on ABA,
kind regards,

Unknown said...

No, I don't mind as long as you provide an accurate representation of my blog comment.