Occupational Therapist, Speaker

Applied Behavior Analysis and Occupational Therapy

multiethnic women arguing with each other
2 women in conflict

Why are these two therapy disciplines in a turf war? There has been a huge debate over the years especially with the explosion of corporate Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) clinics popping up. They are franchises just like in the therapy world. Think of the rehab companies that contract in skilled nursing facilities. This is no different.

My early experiences with ABA were horrible. I was was working in home health pediatrics in 2005 and would get put on autism teams where the family’s would choose ABA as their preferred treatment method. I refused and would not do click and pay. One example I will never forget is a therapist was putting a Cherio on her nose and would state “look at me” and if the child did it, they would get the Cherio.

Um no. I refused to do any of this regardless of what team I was on. I hope the forced eye contact is something of the past. Then more recently, I have seen ABA go totally wrong to the point of me calling in an abuse report. What in the world are these people doing? Children are children and should be treated as children like they are your own. (Some teachers/therapists need to read that again.)

No wonder autistic adults have a problem with ABA. Trying to stay in a place of curiosity, I reached out to local ABA professionals and even joined the local ABA association. They introduced me to Dr. Bailey and his ethics guidelines. Most of what I was seeing, was not ethical. I was also introduced to The Global Autism Project. This is another ethical program on a global scale. I am currently in their leadership program as well as SkillCorp. All for a later post and in the mean time, listen to my podcast interviews on Autism Knows No Borders.

There is so much controversy with ABA. Much of which I have written about above. Many autistic adults have stated it should be banned. They believe it is abuse, causes trauma, and encourages masking. Neuroclastic is an online community having these difficult discussions. Here is a podcast episodes from the curators.

131. Meet Our Global Autism Project Partners in Bangalore, India Autism Knows No Borders

Discover what’s possible when every child becomes your own.  These next two episodes will highlight our Global Autism Project partner site ASHA, from Bangalore, India. ASHA means “hope” in their local language, and it also stands for Academy for Severe Handicaps and Autism. The Global Autism Project has been partners with ASHA since 2018.  For almost 20 years, the Global Autism Project has been providing sustainable clinical, administrative, and leadership training to autism centers around the world seeking guidance. Our SkillCorps® volunteer program has been an opportunity for self-advocates and professionals to travel to our international partner sites and collaborate with their local teachers and therapists.  If you follow our work closely, you may already know that last October we sent 8 teams back in the field for the first time since the start of the pandemic. We were thrilled to see our partners all over the world again! Our host Rachel led the SkillCorps trip to ASHA and documented some moments throughout the trip. Next week, we'll share stories from our SkillCorps volunteers.  In today’s episode, you’ll hear excerpts from conversations with ASHA's staff about: Services provided at ASHA Collaboration among local staff  Teaching Indian culture through art, music, and dance As our organization continues to evolve and innovate, so does our SkillCorps program. We’ve co-created something new and exciting with our community, and we’ll be making some big changes to trips this year.  If you’d like to be the first to know what SkillCorps will look like in 2023, make sure to join our waitlist at skillcorps.globalautismproject.org.  —-more—- We appreciate your time. If you enjoy this podcast and you’d like to support our mission, please take just a few seconds to share it with one person who you think will find value in it too. Follow us on Instagram: @autismpodcast Join our community on Mighty Networks: Global Autism Community Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Global Autism Project We would love to hear your feedback about the show. Please fill out this short survey to let us know your thoughts: Listener Survey
  1. 131. Meet Our Global Autism Project Partners in Bangalore, India
  2. TBT | 24. A Father’s Path to Autism Acceptance, with Jamiel Owens
  3. 130. ’Love on the Spectrum’ and Teaching Social Skills, with Kaelynn Partlow
  4. 129. New Year Intentions and Open Application, with the Global Autism Community Moderators
  5. 128. Highlights of 2022: Part Two, with the Global Autism Community

This is why I have decided to come together with the local ABA association to put on a CEU event. 2 CEUs and a beer is back. We will be discussing what occupational therapy is, what ABA should look like, and using case studies to come together for the best outcomes for the children in our community in an ethical and humane way. Let me buy you a beer (or cider or non alcoholic beverage).

If you are interested, please click the image above or here to register: https://www.schedulicity.com/scheduling/STSX9BY

Please leave your thoughts and comments. I know this is a sensitive topic.

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