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View Diary: An Autistic Speaks About Autism Speaks (50 comments)

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  •  Hi (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rocketito, teacherbill, Native Light

    I have been a teacher working with young autistic kids for more than 25 years.  I sobbed when I first found Temple Grandin's books.  Now I am a big fan of Amanda's films.
    I am so grateful that adults with Autism are speaking out.  I have been groping for answers for years and having my successe, but being shut down because I refused to be a member community who says Autism Speaks and ABA are the only way.
    I have hated ABA since it first came out, because it felt so disrespectful. Now I am actually running an ABA team with the hope that it can be done in a way that honors and supports the child's growth rather than trying to stamp out "behaviors".
    My approach with all children is to help them function and give them joy.  If  what I am doing doesn't address one of those things., it is not worth doing.
    Just my two cents.  I have forwarded your diary on to some colleagues.  

    Be the change you want to see in the world.

    by empathy on Sat May 19, 2007 at 09:46:13 PM PDT

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    •  Thank you! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      njgoldfinch, Tigana, Native Light

      I'm so glad to hear that you're actually working with autistics in a way that actually respects them for who they are, working with them rather than against them.

      This seems to be one of the things that many in the ABA crowd simply don't get, from what I've noticed. For a group that so frequently discuss stimuli and responses, they often don't recognize a perfectly valid response to a stimulus on the autistic kid's part. Of course a kid's not going to be making eye contact, for instance, if he finds looking into someone's eyes to be overwhelming! It doesn't matter how hard you train the behavior of avoiding eye contact out of the child Skinner-style; eye contact is still going to be a source of stress...

      •  Eye contact (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        njgoldfinch, Native Light

        Eye contact can be difficult for introverts, not just for those on the autism spectrum.

      •  I think (0+ / 0-)

        that there is  a way of looking at things which is very black and white. Right or wrong.  It is about control and making people fit into a vision of normal/ mainstream.  
        Do you recall John Dean's book about Conservative Authoritarians? Conservatives Without Concscience  I feel that ABA lends itself to that kind of thinking. It's not about each person's unique gifts and potential, it's about everyone fitting into a box.  The box of good worthy valuable acceptable people.  
        Autistic, gay, muslim, fat, mexican...you don't fit.  You will have to prove to us that you can fit in.

        Be the change you want to see in the world.

        by empathy on Sun May 20, 2007 at 01:25:38 PM PDT

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