So, I'm curious and have a question for all the other parents out there who take their child(ren) to Applied Behavior Analysis therapy.

Do you guys ever feel a little guilty about ABA? I do sometimes just because it is so eerily similar to dog obedience classes. Their approach is exactly that of dog trainers. I wouldn't be surprised if next week her therapist brought out a clicker.

I often feel sad that this is what teaching my little girl has come to.

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My son's school (for Asperger's and like-minded kids) has a compulsary dog class in order to teach the kids how to teach dogs :-) It is a subtle back-door to teaching the kids some of the same tricks and methods. The bottom line is that behavior therapy works very well with kids of this type. Stick with it.
Yeah... it can feel pretty crappy.

"Come on! Point to the blue car! Good boy! Here's a Skittle! You like Skittles, don't you... yes, you do!" *pat pat pat*

Still, it's important to remember that the condescension we would feel on the receiving end of ABA therapy isn't shared by those that will actually benefit from it. That feeling of guilt is based in psychological projection and neurological empathy, not rational investigation and logical deduction.

Of course... if you weren't prone to psychological projection and neurological empathy you'd be the one receiving ABA therapy. *grins*
My brother was taught using these techniques over 30 years ago. I have to tell you that it works very well with him. He has Down Syndrome. I had to emphasize to my children (who were children at the time) that they must follow the teaching of his school to keep their uncle safe (i.e. do not jaywalk with him, he is taught to cross at the crosswalk at the green light, but he still gets confused with all of the other things that WE watch out automatically, such as a car running the light or making an unexpected right turn). I'm not sure how they were able to teach him some things! I have a lot of admiration for those teachers. At the time he was born, a good number of those born with Down Syndrome were institutionalized, and my parents were advised to do the same. I believe the early childhood teaching my brother received (he started 'school' as a toddler), enabled him to reach his full potential. This was a relatively new program at the time. It can only have gotten better in the 30+ years since he started with them.
My son loves his ABA sessions, but then I guess dogs love obedience training too. It works though. I am so happy to see him starting to use language that I can hardly quibble with the methods.
Yes, the 'training' really helped my brother to make sense of the world, and know what was expected of him and what he could expect of the world in return. It reduced his frustration as well as ours.




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