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ABA Controversy Explained | ABA Therapy in Chicago and Downers Grove

ABA therapys is considered the gold standard treatment for Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as well as other common developmental disorders. But, there are some who still find faults in this treatment, because of which there are several ABA controversies that exist even today.

This article is going to address all such controversies so that you have a better outlook about ABA therapy. Here are all the common ABA controversies explained:

It is tough and robotic for children

This is a common conception of ABA Therapy in Chicago and Downers Grove, which is mainly because children are enrolled at such a young age. Numerous people believe ABA therapy can be too robotic for such small children as well, who lack emotion.

However, tasks and activities carried out in ABA therapy are not tough or demanding but have a lot of repetition. Discrete Trial Training, which is a repetitive step-by-step process to complete a specific task or action, can indeed be quite boring and mundane. 

But, this factor is only because of the repetitive nature of this training method in ABA therapy.  In more modern ABA therapy sessions, each child sits and carries out activities that are mainly play-based. ABA therapists are trained to be creative and fun.

It does not support neurodiversity

As mentioned earlier, ABA therapy has been the top treatment for Autistic children. This therapy has successfully been able to help children become indistinguishable from other children in their peer group. For instance, having issues socializing, portraying inappropriate behavior and actions when angry, and so on. 

ABA therapy works in order to overcome such undesirable behaviors. However, there are individuals out there who question ABA therapy whether such behaviors should be targeted and changed.  

Although there’s no right or wrong answer for such, most parents still want their children to eliminate undesirable behaviors that make them socially different from their peers. Such parents believe that the elimination of such skills will lead to a more healthy and socially-acceptable way. 

It follows a specific formula

Some advocates out there believe that ABA therapy relies heavily on certain formulas and principles. Moreover, such individuals also believe that ABA therapy does not regard and take into account thoughts and beliefs. Rather, it heavily relies on data and certain guidelines and principles that have been set. 

Because ABA therapy ignores such cognitive aspects, this has and will continue to be a controversy as far as we can see. While it’s true that ABA focuses heavily only on behaviors that can be observed and measured, the therapy also relies on data analysis.  

This means it can be challenging to understand for anyone not specially trained in the techniques and terminology.

Cannot be compared to other ABA therapists

It is believed that ABA therapy is quite difficult to compare to other treatments and therapies out there that are for autism. However, ABA therapy can still be studied and compared on a smaller scale. 

But, in simple words, ABA therapy cannot be evaluated easily.  This makes it increasingly demanding to assess and compare the type of treatments used in ABA therapy.

It ignores emotions

ABA therapy aims to target undesirable behaviors and actions and transform them into desirable and more socially-acceptable ones. Another major controversy of ABA therapy is that it ignores the emotions of children, by not responding to their “unacceptable” behaviors. 

It does not accept differences

There are certain behaviors and actions that are common in all children suffering from ABA therapy. Rather, it tends to “normalize” all the “unacceptable” and “undesirable behaviors”. 

Some people believe that these behaviors are those that actually distinguish and differentiate these children from other children of their age. But, ABA therapy does not accept such differences. Therefore, such controversies like this actually prefer autistic children to behave this way, rather than shaping them into being “normal”.

Is ABA really effective?

Despite such prominent controversies, ABA therapy is still the top standard treatment for Autistic children. As well as other developmental disorders. Moreover, the success rate of ABA therapy for such children has been remarkable.

The outcomes have been very effective, and have successfully been able to not only get rid of certain undesirable behaviors but also teach and retain positive behaviors forever.

Children who have received ABA therapy have seen significant improvements in their social communication, ability to carry out everyday skills and tasks, independence, and do much better at school.

Each ABA treatment plan is highly individualized and personalized. Taking everything about the child into account, in order to have more effective results. 

As far as the tough and demanding nature of ABA therapy is concerned, ABA therapists and professionals work towards keeping the entire treatment and therapy sessions fun and creative, that too with positive reinforcements to keep the children involved and interested in the sessions.

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