Monday, May 9, 2016

The ARC, formerly the Association for Retarded Citizens, promotes abusive Applied Behavior Analysis programs and barges into autism territory where it does not belong.

I worked for the ARC in two separate county chapters in New Jersey. They were actually both good places to work. And we did, thanks to some excellent management, treat the citizens of what used to be called the Association for Retarded Citizens as human beings. I was able to run a Habilitation Plan Meeting and seek the consent of one of the clients to a plan that he told me he wanted, basically. Now, however, the national ARC is barging into autism territory where it does not belong for as long as it endorses ABA for autistics. We actual autistics have made it clear to the world wide web in social media that ABA is parasitic and coercive and it must remove itself from our personal body spaces.

So this article really bugs me. With its publication of the website "The ARC: Autism Now" the mammoth organization shows its true colors as a primarily a bunch of advocates for parents of atypical people rather than an organization of actually atypical advocates ourselves. Parents and actual atypicals possess separate, yet often overlapping, interests, despite the image parents promote that what they do they do for their children, much more so than they do it for themselves.

Now The ARC has posted its "Parent’s Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)." It sugar coats ABA in typical ABA dissemination fashion and describes the therapists as looking out for the best interest of poor incompetent children who cannot decide what's good for them. It supports ABA without question, with no mention of the reports of trauma by ABA survivors. It paints an image of "variety" in ABA programs, each one supposedly unique. It fails to mention that ABA is, to its very core, throughout all levels of its so-called "profession," is an extremely controlling set of behavior modification models. It concludes with a section called "The Benefits of ABA" with no mention whatsoever about why ABA sucks.

It is the parents of autistics, in general, who order the services of this coercive, parasitic ABA which has anointed itself to be the officiously pontificating prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner of any behavior it deems to be "deviant and aberrant." Actual autistics are up in arms against ABA and we demand that ABA leave our very young autistic peers alone. Some parents are hearing us, but our cries fall on deaf institutional ears of the parent representative groups such as NAMI, with its defenses of forced psychiatry so to get their schizophrenic adult children out of their hair and off their case, such as Autism Speaks, with its massive Resource Guide intensively over-populated with ABA-as-the-go-to-autism-method information, and now we have The ARC turning its back on the people it allegedly defends.

This video, entitled "ABA forces a young boy to play," has been defended by ABA spokespeople in their George-Bush-II-by-any-means-necessary inhumane manner when they argue "what's wrong with making a deviant child into a normal child?" This is exactly what their "right to effective scientific treatment" argument is saying, as hashed out to its logical conclusion.

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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.