27 November, 2009

ABA disclaimer

Okay, so the thing is, I think ABA is a really good way to teach people with autism or really anyone. I mean, the method. It's a good method. I would probably want to be an ABA teacher if not for the fact that I might be expected to train the kids to do things I think are stupid and/or harmful; I'm afraid it would be too hard to find a school where I wouldn't be expected to do that. But that's not how it has to be. If you're teaching people useful stuff and being ethical, I think ABA is really good.

It's just that in my very brief experience with it, I didn't think they were being ethical or that they were always being useful. They did some stuff at that school that I thought was really great, it was obvious that kids were improving their language and lifeskills and it was wonderful to see. A lot of the people who worked there were very nice and I'm sure had the best intentions. However, I just thought that they weren't thinking about ethics, and I don't think anyone is so low-functioning that ethics don't matter. I wasn't there a very long time so I don't want to make sweeping statements, but it also didn't seem to me that it occurred to them to try to take ASD perspectives into account. (Well, it seems self-evident to me that if you ever talked to an ASD person for one minute about stimming, you would not be treating stimming as a bad behavior, so maybe I can make that sweeping statement.)

I read a few comments in response to my post about my internship that sounded (to me) like they were taking my post as a post that shows what ABA is like. ABA is not like anything, it's just a method. I didn't mean to make any statements about what ABA innately is.

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