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Your Voices: What is your experience with ABA therapy for autistic patients?


We’re reaching out to autistic folks who have gone through ABA therapy and want to share their experiences.

The largest study ever conducted of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy effectiveness, and paid for by the Department of Defense, concluded that ABA services for autistic people are not working.

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network and other groups led by autistic people publicly denounce this therapy, saying that it uses rewards and punishments to “force” autistic people to act like they’re not autistic and that “ABA and other therapies with the same goals can hurt autistic people, and they don’t teach us the skills we actually need to navigate the world with our disabilities.”

The group instead recommends practices like physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) instead.

Scores of people on social media using the #ActuallyAutistic hashtag also decry ABA therapy.

We’re reaching out to autistic folks living in the greater Tampa Bay region who have gone through ABA therapy and want to share their experiences. We’d also like to talk to therapists of various backgrounds who work with autistic adults and children.

Fill out the form below, and if you're willing, a reporter may contact you.

Copyright 2023 WUSF 89.7

Daylina Miller is a multimedia reporter for WUSF and Health News Florida, covering health in the Tampa Bay area and across the state.