Many adults with autism experienced ABA as children. In the past, practitioners often used negative reinforcement to achieve the behaviors they deemed “normal”. For the children, it was often torture. Restraints, electroshock, physical punishment, and other techniques have been a part of ABA treatments.
Neurodiverse people ask why the behaviors need to be “normalized”? Does flapping or not making eye contact injure anyone? Or, are those who advocate ABA imposing an unnecessary normalcy upon those on the spectrum? Current treatment focuses on rewards “good” behaviors, but it still remains a burning issue in the adult autistic community.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a type of therapy that focuses on improving specific behaviors, such as social skills, communication, reading, and academics as well as adaptive learning skills, such as fine motor dexterity, hygiene, grooming, domestic capabilities, punctuality, and job competence. ABA is effective for children and adults with psychological disorders in a variety of settings, including schools, workplaces, homes, and clinics. It has also been shown that consistent ABA can significantly improve behaviors and skills and decrease the need for special services.