TW: Abuse, conversion therapy, ABA

Do you know who Dr. Ole Ivar Lovaas is? Probably not, he doesn't get talked about a lot- but that man is responsible for the abuse that thousands of people face every year to this day

You've probably heard of conversion therapy- a so-called
"therapy" to make gay people become straight (which obviously is absurd to think that that's possible) that involves abusive tactics like electric shocks, extreme physical labor, and many other awful, awful things. Lovaas is the"father" of conversion therapy
You probably haven't heard of ABA therapy- applied behavioral analysis. Again, this is a "therapy" designed to change the inner workings of human beings that do. not. need. to. be. changed. We can thank Lovaas for this one too.
It's conversion therapy for autistic people. Every
bit of ABA is designed to try and turn autistic people into neurotypical people. And just like conversion therapy, this is abuse- period.
There's a lot being done to convince everyone that ABA has "changed", and people believe it. But it hasn't changed.
It's still abuse, and nobody will listen to autistic adults who experienced it about what it's like. They tell them "you wouldn't understand, you're not like my autistic kid. It works for him, he's made such progress, you're just more high-functioning than he is", completely
neglecting the fact that they were an autistic kid once too.
Your child is perfect the way they are. Autism is not a disease, it's not an epidemic, it's not something that needs to be "fixed"- it's a neurotype. It doesn't automatically mean your kid needs therapy, and it's
and it's certainly not their damn neurotype that needs therapy. Therapy is a wonderful thing when it's actually therapy and not abuse- treat the issues that actually exist, if any, and don't try to treat the autism because it's part of their very being.
Speech therapy, occupational therapy, etc all can be very helpful- so treat what needs to be treated and don't try to fix who your kid is.
I'm going to link a few articles here about what it's like from an autistic perspective. It's "autism awareness month" right now and a lot
of misleading information gets spread around. Part of the issue that comes up is that when desperate parents go searching for resources, or ask their doctor for help, they end up in the worst possible places- at organizations like "Autism Speaks" and others who proudly are about
proudly are about changing your child through ABA. They don't consider autistic experiences at all, and focus solely on the neurotypical parent or doctor experience, leading them straight to ABA.
They never make it to the autistic-led resources because these other ones like AS
have so many "resources" that answer all their questions. But these resources and answers lead you to putting your child into an abusive situation that you think is helpful.
If that's the situation you're in, doubling down and convincing yourself that it can't be abuse is one
of the worst possible responses you could have. As is said in the articles, it's absolutely shitty to realize that what you thought was helpful for your child is an abusive situation.
So start reading things written by autistic voices,
listen instead of dismissing their
experiences. Leave the "autism mom" groups behind and join groups that are led by autistic people and just be present and hear what they're saying. Do some research into the organizations you're relying on for resources, and if they're not including autistic people in the
leadership and every other part of the structure, it's time to find new organizations to rely on.
The following article breaks down a number of videos showing ABA in-process and explains what it's like to watch as an autistic person vs a NT person.…
"I know that if I ask someone if they think it is abusive to remove a child’s only way of contacting their parents, or to ignore a child in distress, or to force a child into a situation that they find uncomfortable/painful, or refuse to help a child when they are suffering and
overwhelmed, they will say yes. As long as I don’t mention that the child is autistic, anyway.
Autistic kids are different, apparently."…

"ABA International is inviting people who electrocute children to speak at their symposiums about why it is good and
how to do it properly.
They are not including autistic recipients of ABA to speak about what applications can be traumatic or harmful.
They are not including speakers who discuss alternatives to electric shock to control violent behaviours.
They are not mentioning that people of
color and people from a background of poverty are more vulnerable to ABA abuse."…
"Put another way, autistic children as young as two years old are expected to keep a part-time to full-time job being trained to comply with therapists and act neurotypical."
(I wrote this for Facebook originally so I apologize for any weird breaks in the text XD)

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