Autism, ABA, and PBS

Howdy DSISD leaders,

ABA and its kin (PBS) have a scant evidence base that relies heavily on parent reporting and deficit framing.

Under ActuallyAutistic pressure, autism researchers are finally facing how thoroughly, disastrously wrong they’ve been about autism.

Don’t invite this into our schools. Behaviorism and the autism industry have a pitiful ethics base.

Some reporting from the front:

I turned an email I sent ya’ll into a public post:

Drop the B from PBS – Ryan Boren

Ann Memmott and Damian Milton are autistic autism researchers. I reference and recommend their work often.

Ann Memmott on Twitter: "Want a paper by one of the top minds in autism academia, @milton_damian ,on subjecting #autistic people to #ABA? Here it is. Summary: It doesn't even work. Instead, the methods by e.g. @AT_Autism using #Synergy should be considered."

We work with Charles Nelson, professor of pediatrics at Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital, mentioned in this piece linked by Ann. We’re doing our next neuropsych eval with him.

Ann Memmott on Twitter: "Every parent/therapist/researcher should read this. Researchers assumed some autistic people cannot understand language (they could...) cannot read (they could...) and had a low IQ (nope....). , They did the wrong tests. Your child can understand you."

Ann and Damian comment in this thread on the fear-based autism research that is still so prevalent.

Ann Memmott on Twitter: "@autismage It really needs the Psychology researchers to get a study commissioned on autism researchers, along the lines of, "Does your fear of autistic people lead to you doing appalling research with no ethics base, in order to shore up your own set of neuroticisms?" I forecast a yes." / Twitter

Damian Milton on Twitter: "@AnnMemmott @IgHawthorne @autismage Or pursuit of next grant and somewhat mistaken belief that playing pathology game is the only way to get funded?" / Twitter

Harris Hawthorne on Twitter: "@milton_damian @AnnMemmott @autismage There's no money in making our lives better!" / Twitter

Sara Luterman on Twitter: "Nobody needs a glorified Roomba that does discrete trial training." / Twitter (click through to see the image for an autism research joke)

My growth mindset ramblings occasionally get a reference.

Kirsty Irvine on Twitter: "As @rboren shares ‘ Do not use growth mindset to shift responsibility for change from our systems to children.’ Focus on authentic inclusion at every step #OPSOAEdChat"

From one of the authors of Timeless Learning:

Ira Socol on Twitter: "Growth Mindset is part of the "blame kids" movement. Schools need to grow, kids are already growing" / Twitter