Why I Left ABA

Socially Anxious Advocate

Trigger Warning: ABA, ableism, institutionalized child abuse

[Image Description: A bright red door with a brass knob and a faded mail slit. To its left, there is a long, dark windowpane with some decoration and smudges. The door itself has chips in its paint and markings on it, despite the bright color. It is closed, possibly locked.]

When I first became an ABA Therapist, I was thrilled. I was actually going to use my psych degree, get paid more than minimum wage, and above all, make a positive difference in Autistic children’s lives. Or at least, that’s what I thought.

Now I look back, and the year I spent working in ABA is my single greatest regret.

When I left, it wasn’t a decision I made overnight. It was a long, difficult process, full of denial and confusion. I don’t enjoy talking about it because I did so many wrong things that…

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About cannabisforautism

An Ashtanga Yoga teacher, dedicated to improving the health and welfare of those involved in mental health issues, substance use or homelessness. I am also striving to put an end to the perception of the substance user as someone who makes incorrect choices. Striving for a world where there are no 'drug abusers' or 'addicts', just substance users with health concerns and sometimes financial and legal confounds. It is possible to use many substances and still remain happier and healthier than your peers. The notion that a substance user must become unhealthier as time goes by is false. I hope you enjoy reading my blog. It's about autism treatments and a few other odds and ends. Thank you and take care, Jules
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One Response to Why I Left ABA

  1. Janika P says:

    Your child wakes up. She begins biting pieces of flesh from her skin. She is bleeding. She is crying. She won’t stop. No matter how much comfort you bring her. She plows her head into a wall. You try to protect her. She is out of her mind in pain. She can’t talk. She can’t tell you what’s wrong. You go to ER room. They are unable to take blood tests to see what can be causing this increase. It takes 9 people to hold her down. She is screaming and biting herself and others. She is sedated with Ativan. And an ER doctor wants to give her Haldol and Benadryl. You allow it, but it isn’t getting to the bottom of what is causing this increase in self abuse. You are exhausted. You don’t have any help at home. There are no group homes that can handle your child. You are all alone. You don’t know who to trust or where to go or who can help your child. Everyone just wants to talk about what is going on but nobody is getting to the bottom of what is going on. You feel as if you might go insane from the nonsense and inaction and the utter apathy and ignorance concerning treating and supporting people with autism. There is no drug that stops the self abuse. The doctor doesn’t want to put your child under sedation to find out what may causing all these recent behaviors, a psychiatrist wants to give antipsychotics but you know your autistic child isn’t psychotic, they are in pain or worse, they are suffering from some unknown genetic disorder that causes them to self abuse in the worst way when they feel the slightest pain or discomfort and you are screaming at everyone to listen to you that you know your child is hurting and that they need help and you don’t understand how our American system can have billions assigned to autism research and treatment yet nobody seems to still understand how to help these vulnerable children and as such all they do is suggest more sedative drugs, as if our autistic children were hospice patients, waiting to die. It breaks my heart. It breaks the heart of every parent of an autistic child as we wait, wonder and advocate and hope and pray and still, nobody is solving this mystery, nobody is coming up with better solutions. May God help us us all. Autism speaks? No. Because apparently nobody is listening.

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