The field of ABA is constantly growing and evolving. After being in the field for several years, we wanted to share our perspectives on what has changed and what still needs to change. Our field is making great strides in moving from the perception that ABA “fixes” kids to honoring who they are as people. Shayna has been in the field since 1997 and shares what it was like when she was first starting out. Nobody really knew what autism really was, let alone ABA. Supervision looked a lot different, and treatment was focused heavily on language and making kids “seem normal”.
Referring to ABA as therapy and treatment makes it seem like our main goal is still to fix people. Moving towards having it be known as education or skill acquisition could help us frame the field in a more positive way. Even those who work in the field might still think about it as a rigid system. ABA is much more compassionate than it used to be and much more focused on positive reinforcement. Cultural competence and a client-centric approach is coming more to the forefront, as well as being more oriented towards client goals. The perception starts with us as practitioners.
- What the field of ABA was like 25 years ago.
- How ABA has grown into a more positive, student-focused approach.
- How we can change the perception of ABA.
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I definitely agree that a lot of positive changes have been made over the years within the field of ABA.