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somanyspoons
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25 Oct 2016, 10:31 pm

I tried to warn you that this would happen, Krelliot. I know you didn't see my warning as kind, but it was meant to be.

It's kind of like a bull in a china shop. It doesn't mean to cause harm, but by its very nature of having horns and stuff, if its not super careful, there's broken china everywhere and people start getting cut.



Krelliott4
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25 Oct 2016, 10:32 pm

Fit in? What how?



Shahunshah
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25 Oct 2016, 10:37 pm

Krelliott4 wrote:
Fit in? What how?
Well isn't that kind of the purpose of ABA therapy, to encourage autistic children to communicate so they can be a part of the society around them?



B19
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25 Oct 2016, 10:51 pm

At the heart of all behaviourist practice is the theory of what is called "operant conditioning". An every day example that explains it (rather than many pages of jargonised theory) is to think of the way dog trainers shape the behaviour of dogs, using rewards and punishments, until the animals are sufficiently conditioned to follow commands without immediate rewards and punishments. That's essentially what operant conditioning is, the core principle.



Krelliott4
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25 Oct 2016, 10:55 pm

I'm well aware of everything you're both saying. But I am done being bashed and having others assume they know me and why I joined.



Shahunshah
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25 Oct 2016, 11:03 pm

Krelliott4 wrote:
I'm well aware of everything you're both saying. But I am done being bashed and having others assume they know me and why I joined.
Well what do you think of it?



B19
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25 Oct 2016, 11:04 pm

It's an important issue though. Behaviourists think that meaning resides in, can be inferred from, behaviour alone; in that paradigm, any thoughts and feelings within the person are considered to be irrelevant.

This is why humanist psychologists have a problem with ABA and other offsprings of Skinnerism. I am not personalising this to you; it's just what behaviourism actually is. Humans are to be seen as a set of conditioned responses or as Skinner preferred to put it "reflexes" to external stimuli.



DataB4
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25 Oct 2016, 11:54 pm

Welcome, Krelliott4. I can only imagine the mental anguish of people who injure themselves, so my heart goes out to you and the children.

I admire those with the patience and kindness to work with children. What do you like best about your work?

It sounds like your main focus personally is to stop children from hurting themselves. That makes sense to me. I'm curious: what sort of alternatives or coping strategies do you give the children? Do your personal experiences also shape your understanding beyond your behaviorist training?



Shahunshah
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26 Oct 2016, 1:39 am

B19 wrote:
At the heart of all behaviourist practice is the theory of what is called "operant conditioning". An every day example that explains it (rather than many pages of jargonised theory) is to think of the way dog trainers shape the behaviour of dogs, using rewards and punishments, until the animals are sufficiently conditioned to follow commands without immediate rewards and punishments. That's essentially what operant conditioning is, the core principle.
Well what would you propose instead?



B19
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26 Oct 2016, 2:07 am

I parented three children, all adults now. They were all different, and recognising their individual differences, encouraging their strengths, validating their feelings, guiding them through times of stress, et al, created safety for them to grow into their full selves. I strove for a balance of power, empowering them to be their fullest self. That's (broadly speaking) a "humanist" approach. I wasn't an authoritarian who imposed "compliance" demands on them, which is what ABA basically does. I believe children are born with innate personalities of their own, unlike behaviourists, who think it is all about learning after birth, stimulus and response.

Teaching autistic children to be compliant to a stranger adult's intentions has risks I think, personally, because not all strangers are benign. In ABA, the power is not shared; it is all one way, comply with the trainer. That might work with a dog, I wouldn't have done that as a parent though.

Right from the start, each of my children had different innate personalities, different profiles of strength and weakness, so I strove to encourage and recognise their individual strengths, to maximise what was there, rather than suppress parts of them. And it seemed to work...



Shahunshah
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26 Oct 2016, 2:38 am

B19 wrote:
I parented three children, all adults now. They were all different, and recognising their individual differences, encouraging their strengths, validating their feelings, guiding them through times of stress, et al, created safety for them to grow into their full selves. I strove for a balance of power, empowering them to be their fullest self. That's (broadly speaking) a "humanist" approach. I wasn't an authoritarian who imposed "compliance" demands on them, which is what ABA basically does. I believe children are born with innate personalities of their own, unlike behaviourists, who think it is all about learning after birth, stimulus and response.

Teaching autistic children to be compliant to a stranger adult's intentions has risks I think, personally, because not all strangers are benign. In ABA, the power is not shared; it is all one way, comply with the trainer. That might work with a dog, I wouldn't have done that as a parent though.

Right from the start, each of my children had different innate personalities, different profiles of strength and weakness, so I strove to encourage and recognise their individual strengths, to maximise what was there, rather than suppress parts of them. And it seemed to work...
You would have been a fine parent for me but what about children who are severely autistic.



B19
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26 Oct 2016, 2:45 am

They too have innate personalities, they are not the "blank slates" as behaviourist theory supposes they are. I would also take a holistic approach, dealing with any physical issues first - like an imbalance of any particular neurotransmitter. Physical, emotional, psychological, all are strands to address, the key is to think more broadly than one dimensional thinking.



Shahunshah
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26 Oct 2016, 2:46 am

B19 wrote:
They too have innate personalities, they are not the "blank slates" as behaviourist theory supposes they are. I would also take a holistic approach, dealing with any physical issues first - like an imbalance of any particular neurotransmitter. Physical, emotional, psychological, all are strands to address, the key is to think more broadly than one dimensional thinking.
So you would do something similar to what we call ABA therapy?

Elaborate please... If what your saying is going to have credibility we need to hear specifics on this.



Last edited by Shahunshah on 26 Oct 2016, 2:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

B19
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26 Oct 2016, 2:51 am

No not at all. I think you have to be attuned to the child as an individual, to observe what reduces their fear, what calms them, what triggers them, and each is an individual. They are not animals to be trained, as if they were no more than that.

(Animals however were a large part of their childhood - we had dogs, cats, birds, frogs, goldfish and pet mice, and interacting with them had a powerfully positive effect for each child too). I know from my own childhood how emotionally valuable the bonds with animals were. They calmed me.



Shahunshah
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26 Oct 2016, 3:00 am

B19 wrote:
No not at all. I think you have to be attuned to the child as an individual, to observe what reduces their fear, what calms them, what triggers them, and each is an individual. They are not animals to be trained, as if they were no more than that.
Well ABA therapy is more than that you see its also about conversing, understanding the other person's perspective, reading and writing not just treating children like animals. I think its a bold statement that ABA therapists are in tune to individual needs either since it is a common fact that autism therapies often use objects and materials to comfort certain autistic children. Your idea of raising a severely autistic child is sounding allot similar to this ABA therapy you keep criticizing.