ABA is not the answer. It asks the wrong question.

ABA is not the answer. It asks the wrong question.

Applied Behaviour Analysis Therapy (ABA) / Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) are often recommended for autistic, and otherwise neurodivergent children, but I kindly encourage any parents out there to ๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™š๐™–๐™จ๐™š ๐™ง๐™š๐™จ๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™˜๐™ ๐™ž๐™ฉ ๐™›๐™ž๐™ง๐™จ๐™ฉ.ย 

There are a huge number of autistic adults who have gone through it and are now speaking out against it, as well as many experts in the field of psychology.

It is a controversial topic; ๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™š๐™–๐™จ๐™š ๐™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™„ ๐™–๐™ข ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™Ÿ๐™ช๐™™๐™œ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š, ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™–๐™ก๐™ก ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฉ ๐™ฌ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™—๐™š๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ค๐™จ๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ซ๐™š. I am just sharing what I’ve learned while researching therapies for my own child, and resources for you to read.

ABA creator Ivar Lovaas didnโ€™t acknowledge that autistic children were people until they had undergone his โ€˜therapyโ€™ to โ€œbuild a personโ€.

Behaviourism is dead

All the recent research into child development and psychology proves that. It is ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™™๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š๐™™ ๐™จ๐™˜๐™ž๐™š๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™š, although you couldnโ€™t even call it science really. Read this fascinating article here on just how old and outdated it really is.

โš ๏ธย  ๐˜ผ๐˜ฝ๐˜ผ ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™š๐™™ ๐™—๐™ฎ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ข๐™–๐™Ÿ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ฎ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™–๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™˜ ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™š ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ž๐™ฉ ๐™ซ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ก๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™๐™‰ ๐˜พ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ซ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ๐™จ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™‹๐™š๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™š ๐™’๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ ๐˜ฟ๐™ž๐™จ๐™–๐™—๐™ž๐™ก๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™š๐™จ. Here is an article by non-speaking autistic people and their thoughts on ABA.

โš ๏ธ ABA is an embarrassing reminder of how poor the research and education on autism really is. ๐™„๐™ฉ ๐™™๐™ค๐™š๐™จ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™™๐™š๐™ง๐™ก๐™ฎ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ง๐™š๐™–๐™จ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™จ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™—๐™š๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง, ๐™ง๐™š๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™˜๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™–๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™˜ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™™๐™ž๐™ซ๐™ž๐™™๐™ช๐™–๐™ก ๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ž๐™ง ๐™š๐™ข๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™–๐™ก ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š.ย  It doesn’t see behaviour as communication. Ethical concerns about ABA can be found here.

โš ๏ธ There are a growing number of studies showing its links to ๐™‹๐™๐™Ž๐˜ฟ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™–๐™ช๐™ข๐™– ๐™ก๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ง ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™›๐™š.ย  Here are two studies which highlight this: Long-term ABA Therapy is Abusive and Evidence of increased PTSD symptoms in autistics exposed to applied behavior analysisย 

โš ๏ธ This is a collection of articles all in one place from people who are advocating for ABA to stop

My graphic below is what I learned about ๐˜ผ๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™ž๐™š๐™™ ๐˜ฝ๐™š๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐˜ผ๐™ฃ๐™–๐™ก๐™ฎ๐™จ๐™ž๐™จ(๐˜ผ๐˜ฝ๐˜ผ)/๐™‹๐™ค๐™จ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š ๐˜ฝ๐™š๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™Ž๐™ช๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™จ(๐™‹๐˜ฝ๐™Ž) when I was researching therapies for my child last year. It gives an easy to understand overview, and makes it clear how problematic it is as a therapy for autistic children.

โญ๏ธ I wanted to share because ๐™„ ๐™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™ฌ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ž๐™ฉ ๐™›๐™š๐™š๐™ก๐™จ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™—๐™š ๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™ค๐™ซ๐™š๐™ง๐™ฌ๐™๐™š๐™ก๐™ข๐™š๐™™ ๐™ฅ๐™–๐™ง๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ ๐™จ๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™˜๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™—๐™š๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฉ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ข๐™ฎ ๐™˜๐™๐™ž๐™ก๐™™.

โญ๏ธ I wanted to share because ๐™„ ๐™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™ฌ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ž๐™ฉ ๐™›๐™š๐™š๐™ก๐™จ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™จ๐™š๐™š ๐™ข๐™ฎ ๐™˜๐™๐™ž๐™ก๐™™ ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ช๐™œ๐™œ๐™ก๐™š, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™ฌ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™™๐™ค ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฉ ๐™๐™ž๐™ข.

โญ๏ธ I wanted to share because ๐™„ ๐™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™ฌ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ž๐™ฉ ๐™›๐™š๐™š๐™ก๐™จ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ค๐™›๐™š๐™จ๐™จ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™–๐™ก๐™จ ๐™™๐™ž๐™จ๐™ข๐™ž๐™จ๐™จ ๐™ข๐™ฎ ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™š๐™ง๐™ฃ๐™จ, ๐™›๐™ค๐™— ๐™ข๐™š ๐™ค๐™›๐™›, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™œ๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ข๐™š ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™–๐™˜๐™˜๐™ช๐™ง๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง๐™ข๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ.

โญ๏ธย I wanted to share because ๐™„ ๐™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™ฌ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ž๐™ฉ ๐™›๐™š๐™š๐™ก๐™จ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™—๐™š ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™จ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™จ๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™˜๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™จ๐™ค๐™ข๐™š๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฎ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ, ๐™„ ๐™˜๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™™๐™ค ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ข๐™š๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ข๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™๐™š๐™ก๐™ฅ ๐™ข๐™ฎ ๐™˜๐™๐™ž๐™ก๐™™.

โญ๏ธย I wanted to share because ๐™„ ๐™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™๐™ค ๐™จ๐™ช๐™œ๐™œ๐™š๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™ฎ๐™ฅ๐™š ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™–๐™ฅ๐™ฎ, ๐™™๐™ค ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ก๐™ก ๐™ฅ๐™–๐™ง๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™จ ๐™–๐™ก๐™ก ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™›๐™–๐™˜๐™ฉ๐™จ, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ง๐™ข ๐™ž๐™จ๐™จ๐™ช๐™š๐™จ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™š๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™˜๐™–๐™ก ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™š๐™ง๐™ฃ๐™จ ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ง๐™ง๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ž๐™ฉ.

โญ๏ธย I wanted to share because ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™œ๐™ค๐™–๐™ก๐™จ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฅ๐™–๐™œ๐™š ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™๐™š๐™ก๐™ฅ ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ข๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฎ ๐™–๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™˜ ๐™˜๐™๐™ž๐™ก๐™™๐™ง๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™–๐™™๐™ช๐™ก๐™ฉ๐™จ ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™จ๐™จ๐™ž๐™—๐™ก๐™š ๐™–๐™˜๐™ง๐™ค๐™จ๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ฎ, ๐™ฌ๐™๐™š๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ฎ ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™™๐™ž๐™–๐™œ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™จ๐™š๐™™ ๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ, ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š๐™จ ๐™˜๐™ง๐™ฎ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™จ๐™š๐™ง๐™ซ๐™ž๐™˜๐™š๐™จ, ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š๐™จ ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™œ๐™ค๐™ซ๐™š๐™ง๐™ฃ๐™ข๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ ๐™–๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ก๐™š๐™ฉ ๐™™๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ข๐™š, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ข๐™š ๐™–๐™œ๐™–๐™ž๐™ฃ.

For me ABA/PBS is not the answer. It asks the wrong question. It asks, โ€œHow can we change this behaviour?โ€ instead of, โ€œWhy is this behaviour happening, and how can we better support this person?โ€ Our children are LITERALLY the future of this country, and the government, society as a whole NEED TO DO BETTER. Person-centred, neuro-affirmative and respectful therapy is what WE NEED.

Sarah Dwan

If not ABA/PBS, then what?

Autistic children/adults ๐™™๐™ค๐™ฃ’๐™ฉ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ก๐™ฎ ๐™‰๐™€๐™€๐˜ฟ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™–๐™ฅ๐™ฎ ๐™Ÿ๐™ช๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™—๐™š๐™˜๐™–๐™ช๐™จ๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™š’๐™ง๐™š ๐˜ผ๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™˜. Determine what our struggles are, and then find a neuro affirmative, respectful therapy to help support, and ๐™ฌ๐™ค๐™ง๐™  ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™ช๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™๐™š๐™ก๐™ฅ ๐™ž๐™™๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™›๐™ฎ ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™ฃ ๐™ฃ๐™š๐™š๐™™๐™จ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™œ๐™ค๐™–๐™ก๐™จ. This quote by Chris Bonnello from Autistic Not Weirdย sums it up very well, โ€œI donโ€™t want to turn an autistic person into a non-autistic person. I want to turn an autistic person who struggles into an autistic person who doesnโ€™t struggle.โ€ THIS SHOULD BE THE GOAL.

  1. A speech therapist may be needed for speech, and communication struggles. ๐™‡๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™ฃ ๐™–๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™–๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™˜ ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ข๐™ข๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™ž๐™˜๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™–๐™˜๐™˜๐™š๐™ฅ๐™ฉ ๐™ž๐™ฉ ๐™ž๐™จ ๐™™๐™ž๐™›๐™›๐™š๐™ง๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ, ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™™๐™š๐™›๐™ž๐™˜๐™ž๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ. Learn aboutย Augmentative and Alternative Communicationย (AAC). I highly recommend reading up on The Double Empathy Problem which helped me massively.

  2. An occupational therapist can help with so much, including sensory integration, meltdowns, and behaviours that cause harm from sensory overload. A good OT will draw up a sensory diet to implement at home. They will help you determine which of the 8 senses your child is seeking or avoiding, and activities to meet these needs. People can be often a mix of both seeking/avoiding. (๐™„๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™š ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š 8 ๐™จ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™š๐™จ. ๐˜ผ๐™จ ๐™ฌ๐™š๐™ก๐™ก ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ข๐™ข๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ก๐™ฎ ๐™ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™ฃ 5, ๐™ฌ๐™š ๐™–๐™ก๐™จ๐™ค ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™‘๐™š๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™—๐™ช๐™ก๐™–๐™ง, ๐™‹๐™ง๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ž๐™ค๐™˜๐™š๐™ฅ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™„๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ง๐™ค๐™˜๐™š๐™ฅ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™จ ๐™ซ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ก ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™ก๐™š๐™–๐™ง๐™ฃ ๐™–๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™š๐™–๐™˜๐™ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ข).

  3. ๐˜พ๐™ค๐™ก๐™ก๐™–๐™—๐™ค๐™ง๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š, ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ค๐™–๐™˜๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ง๐™š๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™˜๐™ฉ๐™›๐™ช๐™ก ๐™–๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ค๐™–๐™˜๐™๐™š๐™จ ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™„๐™‰๐™๐™€๐™‚๐™๐˜ผ๐™‡ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™–๐™ช๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™˜ ๐™˜๐™๐™ž๐™ก๐™™/๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ช๐™™๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ. I follow the Montessori approach. At its core is respecting and following the child’s interests, needs, and where they are developmentally. I combine Dr. Maria Montessoriโ€™s approach with other approaches including the works of Dr. Ross Greene, and Dr. Mona Delahooke.

    For meltdowns, shutdowns, behaviour that causes harm; look into the work of Dr. Ross Greene and his book, The Explosive Child, his website Lives in the Balance and his Facebook Group The B Team.ย  Also the work by Dr. Mona Delahooke and her book, “Beyond Behaviours.” These approaches use the latest research into child development. They solve the issues that cause the behaviour in the first place. Behaviour is often communication.

๐˜พ๐™๐™ž๐™ก๐™™๐™ง๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™œ๐™ž๐™ซ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ช๐™จ ๐™– ๐™๐™–๐™ง๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ข๐™š, ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ฎ ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™– ๐™๐™–๐™ง๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ข๐™š! ๐™‡๐™š๐™ฉ’๐™จ ๐™ข๐™š๐™š๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ข ๐™ฌ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ฎ ๐™–๐™ง๐™š.

  1. Parents/caregivers/educators/professionals that work with and care for autistic children and adults, take the time to learn about autism from the autistic perspective. Having this insight will be invaluable to better supporting autistic people. I highly recommend Ausome Training, who deliver online courses worldwide for everyone. They are autistic-led, and neuro-affirmative.

Further reading onย ABA alternatives here by Ausome Trainingย andย NeuroClastic. More onย neurodiversity-affirming therapy and how to recognise a good therapistsย by the Therapist Neurodiversity Collective.

I want to end this piece with a reframe, a lens shift..

I am autistic.

I am human.

I have meltdowns.

๐™„ ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ข๐™š๐™ก๐™ฉ๐™™๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™ฃ๐™จ ๐™—๐™š๐™˜๐™–๐™ช๐™จ๐™š ๐™„ ๐™–๐™ข ๐™– ๐™๐™ช๐™ข๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ ๐™๐™ช๐™ข๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™ฃ๐™š๐™š๐™™๐™จ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™๐™ช๐™ข๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™ง๐™š๐™–๐™˜๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™จ.

This is an important difference rather than the narrative that meltdowns are specific to being autistic. They’re not. They happen regardless of neurotype. I know this lens shift might be difficult to wrap your head around, because it was for me too. I highly recommend you keep an eye on Ausome Training for when they have their next Autism and Trauma course.

I truly believe the reason we find it so hard to differentiate between autism and trauma is because society, the world as a whole simply does not produce untraumatized autistic people. Donโ€™t add to this trauma by placing us in therapies like Applied Behaviour Analysis.

๐™ˆ๐™š๐™ก๐™ฉ๐™™๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™ฃ๐™จ ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™– ๐™๐™ช๐™ข๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™–๐™ž๐™ฉ. ๐™๐™๐™š๐™ฎ ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™š ๐™ง๐™š๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™จ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ช๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™จ, ๐™š๐™ข๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™จ, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™จ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ž๐™–๐™ก ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ฅ๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™—๐™š๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ค ๐™ค๐™ซ๐™š๐™ง๐™ฌ๐™๐™š๐™ก๐™ข๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ค๐™˜๐™š๐™จ๐™จ, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ค๐™ก.

  • Meltdowns are not part of the diagnostic criteria in the DSM for receiving an autism diagnosis. Meltdowns happen less when you are more regulated, better supported, and better understood. An autistic individual that is meltdown free is still autistic.

  • One of the best ways to support anyone’s mental health is to dive beneath the surface, and try figure out the “๐—ช๐—›๐—ฌ” of a behaviour like a meltdown .

Behaviour is often communication

Think of an iceberg – the bit you see (behaviour) is only a small part of the story. You need the full story to be effectively supported.

Compliance is not an effective goal

Rather than trying to change the behaviour by using rewards/punishments or without any understanding of what was causing it, ๐™›๐™ค๐™˜๐™ช๐™จ ๐™ค๐™ฃ ๐™›๐™ž๐™œ๐™ช๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™๐™ฎ, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™จ๐™ค๐™ก๐™ซ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ค๐™—๐™ก๐™š๐™ข ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ž๐™œ๐™œ๐™š๐™ง๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™—๐™š๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™›๐™ž๐™ง๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™–๐™˜๐™š.

Frequent, re-occurring meltdowns should not be happening for anyone, autistic or not. They are an individual’s way of saying, “๐™„ ๐™ฃ๐™š๐™š๐™™ ๐™๐™š๐™ก๐™ฅ.” Please don’t punish us for something that is beyond our control. Please donโ€™t place autistic or otherwise neurodivergent individuals into harmful therapies like Applied Behaviour Analysis or Positive Behaviour Support.ย 

Our needs are human.

HUMAN NEEDS.

Treat us as human.

Irish, autistic, advocate, parent, artist, writer. Sarah uses her Facebook page, Life Through My Lens,ย to work towards a more inclusive, better educated society in terms of advocacy, empowerment and the autistic way of being. Also on Twitter @myautisticlens

Sarah Dwan

Irish, autistic, advocate, parent, artist, writer. Sarah uses her Facebook page, Life Through My Lens,ย to work towards a more inclusive, better educated society in terms of advocacy, empowerment and the autistic way of being. Also on Twitter @myautisticlens

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.