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Rename ABA As Compliance Behaviour Analysis

This petition had 95 supporters

As a member of the autistic community I ask that Dr Mecca Elizabeth Chiesa Director of U.K. Society of Behaviour Analysis use a title that reflects rightfully what ABA is and change the name there on. 

I ask that it is recognosed and renamed Compliance Behaviour Analysis. 

For to long Applied Behaviour Analysis has been touted as the 'go to' therapy for autism. 

Many charities will only fund ABA.

This means a number of therapists are using the title of ABA to gain funding from these charities even though what they practice may not nessacarily be ABA. It may be Occupational Therapy or Speech And Language Therapy. 

The reason this proves problematic is because of what ABA actually is:

A therapist applies the behaviour they want to see imitated by the child e.g. They touch the red square then encourage the child to touch the red square. Or they stand up and then sit down then encourage the child to do so.

They then analyse the result.

Once satisfied the mimicry has been achieved and the child has shown compliance a reward is given to the child. 

This may in many cases be sweets, stickers or a treasured personal possession of the child's that has been kept away from them until this moment, they call this an 'enforcer'. 

What is being analysed is compliance, how fast can a child yield and how much obedience can be trained into them in a preferably short amount of time.

The fact that other therapies are being labelled ABA to enable funding leads to misconceptions, it allows a compliance based practice to gain a foothold of respectability instead of the rightful training label it deserves. 

ABA has recently been called into question by Laurent Metton in a recent study called 'Should we change targets and methods of early intervention in autism, in favour of a strength based education?' Published by the European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. An excerpt here::

Early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) and its recent variant, naturalist developmental behavioral intervention (NDBI) aim to increase socialization and communication, and to decrease repetitive and challenging behaviors in preschool age autistic children. These behaviorist techniques are based on the precocity and intensity of the intervention, face-to-face interaction, errorless learning, and information fragmentation. Once considered to be “scientifically proven”, the efficacy of these approaches has been called into question in the last decade due to poor-quality data, small effects, low cost-efficiency, and the evolution of ethical and societal standards. Grounded on a reappraisal of the genetic and cognitive neuroscience of autism, we question three aspects of EIBI/NDBI: their focus on prerequisites for typical socio-communicative behaviors, their lack of consideration of autistic language development and learning modes, and their negative view of repetitive behaviors and restricted interests.

ABA only looks to enforce within the child the need to mask the behaviours they need to use as coping skills. Spinning, rocking, fidgeting and vocal stimulation are often used by autistic children to self regulate and ground them. ABA requires quiet hands and complete obedience while mimicry of non autistic behaviour is encouraged and praised. In some cases autistic people may find eye contact uncomfortable indeed painful but this is a target requirement in ABA.

I ask for who's benefit?

ABA has caused Post Traimatic Stress Disorder in autistic adults and teenagers. It's recommended to be used on children as young as 18 months and  vulnerable adults for up to 40 hours per week.

As its so widespread I know ABA will not be abolished but I believe it should be renamed for what it is. 

Schools are being pressured to bring in ABA therapists which can prove to be extremely expensive so they often opt for the option of TEACCH programme. 

It also raises safe guarding and danger awareness issues within the child as a child trained to obey adults will do ANYTHING they are asked for a reward and to please an adult as that's what they have been taught to do. 

It opens the door to possible sexual abuse.

An ABA child is a child with no choice.







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