Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) forces a young boy to play. How ethical is that?

[Editorial note, December 16, 2015. Dave Jersey. Thankfully, for the benefit of the boy, it looks like the YouTube owner of this video took it down from where it first appeared. We need not speak harshly of the owners of the video. It appears they have learned from the advocates about some of the erroneous ways of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) are human beings also and we all make mistakes. When we correct them, we deserve to praise ourselves! I issue them commendation to reinforce their ethical behavior as I write this note. They have corrected mistakes in poor judgment, it seems, something we all do from time to time. Fortunately, however, I saved a copy and I put it back up for educational purposes. In order to defend and help protect the boy, I give it the title it deserves: "ABA forces a young boy to play." If he, in any future conference with a parent or guardian or two of his and with me, or when he eventually becomes an emancipated adult, should tell me he wants me to take it down, then I will.]

Trigger alert. This is not a joke. The author of this blog is disturbed every time he watches this video. Readers use discretion. Be prepared to stop the video and take a time out from it.

[Editing note: The original owner of this video reported it to YouTube as a copyright violation. We asked them to explain how this is not in the public domain. They never responded. We'll be consulting attorneys on our next step.   This is a typical example of ABA censorship. If it makes the cult look bad, why, they don't want any parents to see the truth about how they operate. Heaven forbid! This is actual footage of how they used to brag on themselves at coercing obedience by any means necessary and forcing an autistic boy to pass as non-autistic, in some ways, and then claiming how "effective" they are. However, when we question them, they panic, and take it down, coercively, even threatening legal action to mend their self-induced pathetic reputation, to those who see them in action and who do not believe their false claims in lieu of the true picture. Case in point here. Period. DA]

Please watch this video of actual behavior analysis in action. A friend in the Netherlands just sent it to Dave Jersey @RewardConsent in Twitter messenger December 9, 2015. This blogger is not going to comment with an opinion until after the readers and viewers of this post have an opportunity to comment on it before he does.

It contains footage of Applied Behavior Analysts (ABAers) engaged in intensive interventions with a small boy who has so-called "problem behaviors." Since ABA typically "treats autistic children and adults," or so they say, we can perhaps assume he is an actually autistic lad, though not necessarily, as ABA is done upon all sorts of populations, from ADHD children to seniors with Alzheimer's. (ADHD is short for the demeaning label "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.")

Does anyone else notice that in one part of the video their text actually says he wants to go play at the park, but he actually says he does not want to go?

What is your opinion? How ethical or unethical is this ABA "treatment" of this child? Do you agree more with the proposition: "be effective by any means legal and necessary" or do you agree more with the alternative assertion: "effective ends don't justify questionable means"? Are the end results truly effective?

This blogger already has opinions. You could probably guess them. Whatever position you send, however, Dave will publish it, unless, of course, anyone tries to insult anybody's character with offensive personal remarks of anybody in particular, which is never anticipated in this blog, as it only happened once -- by someone who described himself as a behaviorist -- and the remark was not published.

So please scroll down and post a comment about this video in the box below:


  1. I watched the whole video and read this whole blog. I left some comments on the video it's self, and I read your comment on it.

    I agree with "effective ends don't justify questionable means". I do not agree "be effective by any means legal and necessary", because to me morality must be considered.

  2. I fail to see anything objectionable in this video. I see a young boy who has learned to enjoy social interaction and playing. How in the world is that a bad thing?

  3. These people are freakin' clueless. I see a child who obviously has autism and sensory issues. Where are his visuals? How come no one has picked up on his sensitivities? Has this child been evaluated by a neuropsychologist? My heart goes out to this child.


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I am an advocate for people with disabilities certified to teach special education with a Master of Arts in Teaching. I am not a Licensed Psychologist or a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. When in doubt, seek the advice of an MD, a PhD, or a BCBA. My ability to analyze the ethics of ABA stems from the fact that I am disabled and ABA interventions are often done to people like me, which I voluntarily accept, but only when I alone am the person granting consent, and not a parent, sibling, guardian, or institution.