On Saturday I went to the second of three workshops on ABA. This day covered "10 tactics and procedures for effective behaviour change".
The main one covered was DTT - Discrete Trial Training. A lot of people, when they hear ABA actually assume it's only DTT. However, as I discovered on Saturday DTT is only one of hundreds of tactics and procedures you can use with ABA. In fact, you need data and feedback from other tactics in order to do DTT correctly, which was interesting.
There were various glimmers of hope during the day as a few suggestions and tactics were actually things we did with Emily already. A couple of new ideas - including trying to get WH questions (who, what, where, when, why and how) into her repertoire - may prove a bit out of reach at this point.
It was a tiring day, compounded by a late night Friday evening, but well worth it. Just need to organise some ABA tutoring for Emily now.
Wednesday, 6 November 2013
Having started the slow road to researching ABA and VB, it was happenstance that there was a show on BBC Four the other night about ABA.
It seemed to really dig into the more unsavory aspects of the treatment and there was actually an American woman from a Uni in Sheffield that said ABA can strip away all the behaviours that make an autistic person unique.
This person CANNOT have lived with an autistic person. While there's a lot about Emily I love, there are some of her behaviours that are just downright annoying. The hands on the ears, the spinning, singing, jumping around - these are fine. It's the incessant random noise generation and constant lack of attention that are annoying regardless of condition.
Sometimes, I do feel we are living in the dark ages, and watching this show really brought it home. Are we living through an epidemic that needs to fought tooth and nail, or are Autistic people the natural evolution of our species - one that we're ignorantly trying to repress and stay normal, according to our pre-evolved standards of what normality means.
I'm constantly reminded of the scene in Star Trek IV where modern doctors are about the hack Chekov's head open to try and save him and Bones simply tells them to put away their butcher knifes and let him save them. I can't help but think that in years to come historians could potentially point to this point in the past as the tipping point where we tried to suppress something we don't understand.
I'm still of the belief that we need to at least curtail the most outrageous behaviours in an attempt to bring a certain level of normalcy (or at least suppress Emily's lack of attention and focus) because whether we like it or not - we live in a society that has a certain level of normalcy that we need to adhere to - we can't just poop in the street or knife whoever we want. Likewise, a food fight in a fancy restaurant really isn't tolerated.