There is something super-problematic about ABA therapists, who don't understand either autism or apraxia as it manifests in autistics, saying, "Behaviour is communication," and then trying to change that behaviour based on their assumption of what the behaviour is communicating.
Because not only do they often miss what the behaviour is communicating, but there may be many times (especially in those with apraxia) that the behaviour is NOT communication. At all. Even if there is laughter. Or screaming. Even if the behaviour contains words.
Here's something for you to check out if you thought all behaviour is communication.

Because you'd be wrong.

And if this blows your mind, then check out every link in that thread.

Because you'll be going, "But wait... how do I know WHICH behaviour is communication, and which behaviour is not?"
And you may also start realising why the communication rights of non-speaking autistic people need to be a key focus area for more of us who are involved in advocacy.
You can't effectively advocate for the communication rights of non-speakers if you do not also realise that many people - EVEN AUTISTIC PEOPLE - are actively trying to block non-speakers from accessing the means of communication that works best for them..
Many non-speakers who finally have access to nuanced communication, speak out against ABA; and key roleplayers in the multibillion dollar ABA industry are at the forefront of trying to silence non-speaking autistics.…
There are a number of autistic people who have achieved independent communication through typing, having first used letterboards in methods such as RPM.

Guess who are at the forefront of trying to shut down methods which provide a bridge to independent typing: ABA people.
I realise this sounds highly unlikely: people claiming to advocate for profoundly disabled people actually trying to shut down the communication of profoundly disabled people. But think why some people in power might want to do exactly that.
Why would people want this guy to NOT communicate these words, in which he says his behaviour does not reflect his intent?
But that's exactly what the ABA industry tries to do: They try to silence people like Damon. They don't merely not help. They actively try to prevent guys like Jordyn (featured earlier in the thread) from getting the kind of help they need to communicate.
The US government pays for ABA. Professional reputations have been built on its alleged effectiveness. Autism Speaks talks of howthe streamlining of ABAis a win-win for investors. Thousands of people have bought into this industry. Parents are emotionally invested.
Imagine putting your kid through years and years of ABA, believing it to be a good thing, only to be told that you were wasting the kid's life and effectively abusing them -- all while you actually cared deeply about your child?
Nobody likes to hear that they're an abuser, especially when they see the therapy "working" and the child's behaviour becoming more compliant, including hugs and smiles.
Nobody likes to hear that they are destroying a child's coping mechanisms when what they're doing has been expertly designed to "help the child cope better in the world".
Few people like to listen to a bunch of emotionally damaged, sweary, clearly-not-mainstream misfits telling them that their kid is like them and should be respected as such.
"Ew, no. My child is not like you awful people. I won't let my child turn into your ilk."
Non-speakers ask us to accept that for some, speech will NEVER be a reliable means of communication.

But ableism teaches parents that non-speaking communication makes a person less worthy. ABA promises those parents that with persistence, their child will become more worthy.
For apraxic nonspeaking autists, pointing to either YES or NO on cards can be unreliable, because their body may do the OPPOSITE of what the mind intends. Once they acquire the control to point to each letter separately (e.g. Y-E-S), you have a more reliable reply.
@threadreaderapp Unroll this one too, please.
I made this thread into a blog post.…
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