Friday, 30 March 2012

Accurate Dissemination of ABA

ABA as a field is exploding and it seems that everyone has their own take on it.

Maybe it's more of a question of branding than anything else, but it seems at least to me that everyone is trying to REVOLUTIONIZE the Autism Education Field. From "experts" popping up everywhere, without the education to back up their expertise, to consultants that possess the credentials but not the practical knowledge of the application of IBI; the industry is changing. My only hope is that  the increase in professional interest in Autism is driven by a desire to make meaningful change, and not a desire to capitalize on a growing industry.

1 in 88 has Autism...talk about a growing demographic.

The prevalence of Autism, though intriguing, is not the subject of this post. The true issue I am taking up with, is the tendency for Autism therapy practices to show up on web pages, in consultants portfolios, or on message boards, claiming to be evidence-based and peer reviewed, but negating basic principles of science in so doing. You cannot claim to evidence-based, if you are not fully committed to the application of principles of ABA.

You cannot have your cake, and eat it too! You cannot accept the benefits of associating yourself with an evidence-based science, while also claiming to be anything other than a direct application of ABA. It's false advertising, and it's confusing for parents who aren't able to tell the different between evidence-based and not. We wear the professional hat, and with that role comes power and a (perhaps false) sense of knowledge/expertise.

I am all for finding new-age ways of engaging with your clients ( At MM we are super hands on and play based, BUT and it's a big BUT, it's all within the framework of evidence-based philosophies which we stick to VERY strictly). The principle of behaviourism are pretty much set in stone, and though we can decide how we get from A to B, we have to follow certain rules to get there.

Practitioners shouldn't be wavering on these principles even a little bit if they are claiming to be ABA; it's not a  buffet where you can pick what you want and negate the rest. ABA is evidence-based, but if you're not doing categorical ABA, it's NOT evidence-based. Now believe me if you walk into my center you are NOT going to find robotic discrete trial learning going on, and yet, we are somehow adhering strictly to principles of behaviour in every aspect.

Please require a high standard of your practitioners, your kids deserve it; the ABA industry deserves it.

1 comment:

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