I’ve seen people saying “at least I’m not giving my child bleach” and even some autistic activists say that we “should be spending our time fighting bleach and pseudoscience and not waste our efforts on ABA”. In France, parents have fought for the right to send their kids to ABA schools rather than subjecting them to the abusive treatment they have their known as “Packing” . Some say the “only” other choice for some kids is to send them to live in institutions.
I call BS on those statements.
ABA is not “good” just because you juxtaposed it with “worse” things. It doesn’t work that way. Abuse is abuse and surely no form of abuse should be condoned? There is always a better way than child abuse.
The thing is, while there might be subjectively “worse” abuse being perpetrated on autistic children, ABA is scarily common. Bleach, packing, institutionalisation etc are thankfully less so. And while those and others are rightly seen by many as the abuse that they are, and most would support them being stopped, many people don’t get “what’s the big deal” about ABA. So more kids can be helped in the immediate future by banning ABA.
Also, people can and do care about more than one issue. This month I am concentrating on ABA. That doesn’t mean I don’t fight against all forms of child abuse. It just means that this month has a focus.
So, please, don’t push ABA as “the lesser of two evils”. That really doesn’t make it right.