The “Gold Standard” for Autistic Children

So many Autistic people explain how and why ABA is abusive and harmful, yet many professionals continue to push it.

I have heard this line so many times: “They told me ABA therapy was the ‘gold standard’ for Autism.”

They, meaning the professionals, need to explain exactly what they mean by that, because gold standard is subjective, and will mean different things to different people.

The “gold standard” that ABA is known for is forcing Autistic children to behave as neurotypical as possible.

ABA uses punishments and rewards to train human beings like puppies under the guise of teaching them the “skills” they will need to succeed in life.

The problem with the way this is done is that it’s entirely centred around neurotypical adults and what they want from the child and for the child.

These approaches are harmful because they only focus on surface behaviours and modifying them to fit some — often unfair and unrealistic — set of expectations, without respect or regard for the Autistic human being.

Read my article on Fourth Wave. 


Published by Jillian ADHD 2e MB

Jillian has Child and Youth Work diploma as well as a BA in Psychology. Jillian worked on the front lines of Social Services agencies from 2003 - 2012. Jillian has taken numerous continuing education courses and has attended various workshops focused on supporting neurodiverse children, in particular children with ADHD.

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