Thursday, November 4, 2010

Far from the Truth- part 2

Continuing on from my previous entry:


ABA receives funding to be used in schools because it has been PROVEN over many years and countless studies to be effective.  Funding is rarely available for experimental treatments, which is what any treatment is that lacks empirical evidence.  This one, I have to say, is not our fault. ABA in no way prevents people from conducting studies to show evidence of the effectiveness of other therapies.  When other therapies prove effective, they will get more funding.  Seems pretty logical to me.

And while on the subject of money they forget to mention the HUGE number of schools that do NOT offer ABA and the huge number of families who DO seek ABA services- out of pocket- for upwards of $30,000 per year.  BUT there are also a number of organizations that are non-profit and offer services for reduced rates or offer pro bono services.

If funding in schools is upsetting them, they must be having a hay day with the fact that new insurance legislation in many states specifically requires insurance policies to cover ABA.


The assertion that ABA only focuses on academic and self help skills is completely false.  As is the idea that ABA always requires children to sit still.  ABA can be done on the floor, it can be done while bouncing on a ball, while taking a walk, or while sitting in a chair.  Besides the fact that the skills taught with ABA are ones that are important to be able to be independent and as successful as possible in life, the idea that ABA doesn't promote making friends is just plain crazy.  Frequently siblings and peers are included in ABA programming in order for the child with autism to learn play skills and other interactions.  There are ABA based social skills groups.  Skills used to develop social relationships are just as much of a priority in a good ABA program as communication, self-help, and academic skills.


I would love to know where they got this information.  When I began doing ABA I was trained for weeks, full-time, before being able to work with the children.  When I did begin working with the children, I was directly observed and trained further.  I was trained on the specific children I worked with, in depth, and training was ongoing.  This video also ignores the fact that ALL ABA therapists should be directly overseen by a qualified BCBA or BCaBA, both of which require a degree (graduate for the BCBA), additional specialized coursework, and intensive on-site training for at least 1000 hours(BCaBA) or 1500 hours (BCBA), in addition to passing a board certification exam.  Non certified ABA therapists are overseen regularly and it is the BCBA or BCaBA that designs the programming based on the child's needs and the parents priorities.  Anyone who performs ABA therapy needs to not only be trained in ABA procedures but also be trained on the child they are working with.  So no, by no means is our training short.  Nor do we pump out "lots and lots of peeps."


Ok they are right, ABA was started by a behavioral scientist.  I don't know about you, but I would rather follow treatments designed by a professional.  As great as mom's home-made chicken soup may be, nothing soothes strep throat like some anti-biotics.  Additionally they are misleading when they say "some" people who use ABA have dropped using aversives.  The truth is MOST have dropped aversives.

"Social vs Academic"

Autism is a development, social and COMMUNICATION disorder.  Kids with autism do not learn in the ways that typical children do.  It is not that we do not address social deficits- as I stated in response to an earlier video WE DO.  We simply address ALL areas of need the child has.  It is a PERVASIVE developmental disorder that affects nearly every area of development- including academic.  ABA does NOT focus solely on academics.  If anything, ABA is tending recently to focus on communication

"Published Research"

I admit, there are many people who dispute the idea that ABA is the only therapy scientifically proven to benefit kids with autism.  The truth of the matter is, from what I have seen, other therapies that have research supporting them are ABA based programs that just don't call themselves ABA.  There is a HUGE amount of published, peer reviewed, research supporting the use of ABA techniques- and not only for autism.  There are entire journals dedicated to the ongoing research.  The claim that the results of the original study haven't been reproduced is just silly.  Perhaps the gains seen in further studies haven't matched the original study, but this does not mean the recent research doesn't show ABA is effective.  There have been LARGE studies being run to examine the effectiveness in recent years, government funded, which have shown SIGNIFICANT gains from ABA therapy.


This video is trying to make it sound as though ABA is cold, unwelcoming, unenthusiastic, and doesn't promote hope.  As with the other videos, not true.  Excitement, positivity, and certainly hope are rampant in ABA programs.

As a final note I would like to point out that of course, not every ABA therapist is a GOOD one and not every ABA program is a good program.  Certainly, there are therapists and programs out there that are not using the current best practices, or that focus too strongly on academics, etc.  These programs are NOT the typical ABA program.  ABA programs help families and children see and make real change and great progress.  ABA helps children lead productive, happy, social lives.


1 comment:

  1. There is much research and care units for the autistic children special schools that can help them develop more.Therefore not all is dead and dark for the autistic world.

    Plastic Surgeons Atlanta