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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Writer/Curator/Founder of The Autism Acceptance Project. Contributing Author to Between Interruptions: Thirty Women Tell the Truth About Motherhood, and Concepts of Normality by Wendy Lawson, and soon to be published Gravity Pulls You In. Writing my own book. Lecturer on autism and the media and parenting. Current graduate student Critical Disability Studies and most importantly, mother of Adam -- a new and emerging writer.

“There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope.” -- Baruch Spinoza

Saturday, June 16, 2007


More Literature ABA Advocates Prefer You Not Read

Yesterday, I presented at another conference: Autism Society of Ontario's "Building a Community of Acceptance." I am there to show that there is another side to all of this debate, and what is always most striking to me that people are not very aware of the dialogues going on by autistic individuals -- for years. They are not even aware that there is a disability rights movement. They are not aware of the information available. We must not believe in fact sheets point blank. We listen to some loud voices and the news, and shy away. But the information MUST be available and it must be read. So, for my readers anyway, I urge you to begin to read for yourselves and make up your own minds. Today, I'm including two other sources of information. The first is by Amanda Baggs, written in 2004 below the synopsis I embedded into video:

"The people on the Internet are still there, and many of them are still saying the same things. Here is what one of them said recently:

'Without intensive intervention, many individuals diagnosed with autism will eventually wind up in institutions, unable to even feed or toilet themselves independently. To avoid providing this intervention, all the while assuring the individual that we are doing this in his/her own best interests, "respecting dignity and individuality," strikes me as a bit hollow.'" Read the rest of her article HERE titled Past, Present, Future.

And read this paper "A Tale of Two ABA studies."


Blogger ballastexistenz said...

Another thing to keep in mind is that the fact that I have this level of communication now (after whatever level of fluctuations in the past for that matter) is not the point.

The point is that these things apply to anyone, these rights apply to anyone, we can't condemn people to hell if they don't gain certain skills, and it's irresponsible to sit around creating that hell. And that includes communication skills. I know people with no formal communication system who have their own homes, outside of institutions, and have the assistance they need to live there. One of them was even thrown out of an institution for being too "destructive".

It's not just "someone might turn out to know more than is thought," although that's near-universally true. It's also "Everyone has more rights than some people are afforded, and that needs to change."

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not sure what your problem with ABA is. Not even sure what these blogs have to do with ABA. We do ABA with our autistic son and believe it is the best therapy out there. Yes it has its flaws, some major. It is not perfect. So what? Maybe you're angry because you can't afford it? Of that most parents are unable to afford it? Is it the "change their behavior" thing, which you and (dare I say!) high-functioning autistics interpret as "change who they are"? You can write about ABA being bad until your blue in the face. It won't change my mind about ABA.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous farmwifetwo said...

It's been 2yrs and 6wks (and counting) since 10mths too long of ABA came to an end. OK, I kicked them out, and since they didn't go willingling.. they were removed. A provincially sanctioned program at that.

They told me he'd be a failure, amount to nothing and I couldn't raise him properly on my own. Lies all lies. And I lost a lot of sleep worrying about it.

This morning's conversation at 6:30am "Wake up Mommy. I want juice, I want potty". He read's at a Gr 2 level, spells at a Gr 2 level, granted Math is still counters and JK... but the child won't be for a few more months and I've been pushing reading, spelling etc for communication purposes, and have some ideas to push math beyond counters.

Yesterday he was told to get a new shirt before we went out. He went from the kitchen to the bedroom and back dressed in a new clean shirt... all by himself, no extra instructions.

Oh... and he just bounced into the office and sang "Computer time"... guess what... he's loading his own games to play on their computer.

Next Sat he goes back to gym (regular program) and starts piano lessons. His dx is still valid "severe, non-verbal PDD"... but he's no "freak" or "retard". And definately no "failure" since he doesn't put up with those ABA T's any longer.


7:49 AM  

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