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- a note to you about ABA

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Hi ,

I am so grateful to you for starting this board and helping so many

people. I do feel like this board has given my information, resources

and hope for my apraxic son that I couldn't get anywhere else. I wish

there was something I could do to give back to everyone here who has

given so much, including you. But I dare to say, your comments on ABA

are unfounded. Maybe you can check out the website


He specifically says that they use ABA to treat autism AND OTHER

RELATED DISABILITIES. My son is NOT autistic and responded extremely

well to modified ABA - the type of ABA encouraged by Dr. Carbone, a

hugely respected person in the field of ABA. In fact, the major focus

AND benefit of my son's ABA was improved speech.

I am a physician. I consider myself someone who makes rational

decisions based on the information I research. Yes, traditional ABA

may not be for children without autism.....I can't really comment on

that. It is too broad a statement to make since I haven't researched

it. But there are many non-autistic children who have responded very

well to modified forms of ABA. Although many people have died from

taking aspirin- AS RECOMMENDED ON THE BOTTLE - I would not consider

telling a whole group of people to never take aspirin because so many

people have died from it. EVERYTHING you do to your body has side

effects - medicine, exercise, lack of sleep, food intake........It

sounds to me like you are saying that ABA is poison (Reminds me of

a " Milk is poison " controversy that arose on this board months ago).

I think it would be better to tell people to be cautious before

entering ANY therapy. One thing the mothers on this board emphasize

is to listen with your gut. Bad ABA is a failure of the therapist.

There are bad people in the world in every profession. Parents should

demand the right to observe sessions their children are having,

especially with anyone new. If there is no two-way mirror, you should

be able to ask for videotaping of the sessions. If these options are

not available, I would consider that a huge red flag. My son's first

speech therapist said that she didn't usually allow parents in the

room for speech sessions. I was new at this, but it didn't seem

right. I told her nicely that I wanted to go in,- she let me, but

could tell it would be an issue down the line. I never went back. Now

I know it was crazy. He was 2 and couldn't speak for himself. How was

his speech going to improve with what he got in a 45 minute session

once a week with her? One of the most important things that parents

learn from this board is to trust your instincts, and stand up for

your child. To physicians, teachers, administrators, therapists,...

anyone who isn't listening, who isn't getting it. There is no

treatment that works for everybody. And for every treatment there can

be some horrid side effect. Each apraxic child needs to be considered

as an individual. Traditional ABA would not have worked in my son -

it wasn't needed, would have been boring, unproductive and would

probably have brought out horrid behaviors...... and this was obvious

to the ABA therapists. So they modified their ABA program and had

tremendous success. That is what good therapists do. They treat the

individual that is in front of them, and they treat them humanely.

Please don't speak so strongly against ABA because of a few sour

apples - it is really not the ABA that caused the damage, but the bad

therapists. Well, I guess I'll step off my soapbox now, but I did

want to say something. I want parents to know that ABA CAN BE A GOOD

OPTION. By the strength of your reaction against ABA, I suspect you

knew the person with the bad ABA outcome. It's an awful story. As a

physician there are times when I have been passionate and sincere,

but not objective, and it's usually when I'm personally involved in

some way.....like now. Although I am passionate about this ABA thing,

I do feel I have worked through it enough to be objective as well.

Again, , passion arouses passion. Your passion for helping people

is contagious. Thanks for all you do. Gretchen

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