Monday, December 10, 2007

Autism and Learning - ABA Is Being Used To Help Autistic School Children

If you read only the writings of a few hard core anti-ABA activists like Dr. Laurent Mottron and his colleague Michelle Dawson, or their followers in the Neurodiversity movement, you would think that Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, is an oppressive violation of the rights of autistic children. You would not know that ABA is considered by thousands of autism experts, based on hundreds of studies over more than five decades of research to be an effective method of helping autistic children make continuing gains in learning, intellect, social and communication skills. Numerous responsible and respected agencies have reached the same conclusion, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, The US Surgeon General's Office, the Association for Science in Autism Treatment, and state and provincial agencies across Canada and the United States, including the best known in Maine, New York and California.

If you are a parent of a newly diagnosed autistic child I urge you to ignore the anti-ABA activists and read the material published by the responsible agencies I have listed above. And talk to parents who actually live with autistic children day in and day out and care for them who are helping their children with ABA. Finally consult with people like those at the May Institute who actually work with autistic children. And consult with people like those at the Half Hollows Hill school. There the teachers and other staff use the most effective known method of teaching students with autism Applied Behavior Analysis.

These people are not sitting in a Montreal research facility studying ways to prove that ABA is wrong. Nor are they working only with higher functioning autistic children. They work with autistic children from across the spectrum .... and they use ABA to help them learn .... because it works. The faculty and staff at Half Hollow Hills, like the professionals at the May Institute, know that autism works, not just because of the volumes of research telling them it works, but also from the daily experience of actually working with autistic children from across the autism spectrum and helping them learn by ABA methods. An experience not shared by anti-ABA activists Mottron and Dawson.

For a reality based view of ABA as actually used in helping autistic children read the Newsday article Half Hollow Hills teachers use reinforcement-and-reward strategies to teach their STUDENTS WITH AUTISM. Do not listen to the anti-ABA activists, get the input of people who know what they are talking about and who actually help autistic children day in and day out.

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