Autism dissertation

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Its workhorse was Dr lovaas' student, the young researcher george. And prominent among its long-term goals was preventing homosexuality. The role of societal intolerance in choosing target behaviours was mentioned in one of the rekers/lovaas studies. The authors concluded that it is more realistic to change those hurt by intolerance than to change the intolerant behaviours of society. This position is known to be short-sighted and to extrapolate badly, as many dissenters noticed. In fact, ethics-based dissent, including from the late aba pioneer (and defender of Dr lovaas' work in autism) Donald.

The principal investigator, that is the person whose essay name brought in the funding, was Dr lovaas. This comprehensive and intensive behaviour intervention used the principles of operant conditioning to displace maladaptive behaviours, which were punished, with more desirable behaviours, which were rewarded. The have most effective punishment was found to be spanking or hitting the children. The reported success of this intervention was unqualified. People seeing videos of one of the children before and after treatment described him as "two different boys he now looked and acted like any other boy. The goal of creating children "indistinguishable" from their peers was apparently achieved. The reports of this success generated controversy, requiring Dr lovaas and the other researchers involved to defend their project and its results. Dr rekers and his principles. The ucla project described above was the feminine boy project. Its immediate goal was to replace feminine behaviours (e.g., "maternal nurturance" and playing with girls) with masculine behaviours (e.g., playing with a toy submachine gun and rough-housing with boys) in gender-role-deviant young boys.

autism dissertation

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If anyone at all disagrees with or has ever disagreed with this position, which has always been and continues to be fully manifested in reality, they have kept their dissent to themselves. The needs of the autism-aba industry are well-served by Dr Gresham and the many others essay who maintain the fiction that aba has rigorously been challenged and emerged with a few superficial scratches. Unethical dissent isn't the whole story, but it has been the major confounding factor impeding an accurate assessment of aba through ethical challenges. Part two: history, science, philosophy, religion. Ucla's other early intensive behaviour intervention project. In the 1970's, researchers at ucla authored peer-reviewed articles about the first successes of their program for transforming the inadequate and inappropriate behaviours of young children. This behaviour intervention was considered essential for many reasons: the children's disordered behaviours caused emotional distress in their parents; the behaviours were disruptive and judged unacceptable by society and the children's peers; the behaviours also displaced the proper functioning of these children, who were said. This project, like many others at the time, was generously funded by the national Institute of Mental health.

autism dissertation

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Idealistic protests, unique to non-behaviourists, that discrete trials turned autistic children into robots or trained seals, have been easy targets for the ridicule of the autism-aba industry. More measured objections to aba by hold-outs against the behaviourist tide have been marred by vested interests, professional jealousies, and the promotion of scientifically-suspect pet theories and alternative treatments. In a situation where disregard for ethics is blatant and ongoing, persistently skirting this ommission-either out of self-interest, or to hurl incompetent accusations, or to dissect repeatedly all other possible points of contention at length and in copious detail-becomes in itself unethical. The work of Dr Frank Gresham has exemplified unethical dissent. He continues to be renowned and widely consulted as a debunker of autism-aba, but I found his testimony in Auton contradicted this reputation. When i asked for clarity, dr Gresham confirmed that he is, in his words, the biggest aba supporter anywhere. He is just locking horns with Dr lovaas over who is the better scientist. This rivalry has always been about the needs, character, and ambitions of the two opponents and has nothing to do with autistics, never mind ethics. Dr Gresham also found the idea of autistics being involved or consulted in legal, research, or treatment decisions absurd-like consulting with the mentally-retarded, he said.

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autism dissertation

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As parents of autistic children, they have resume endured emotional and financial hardships and grief unknown to most people. They have exerted tremendous energy educating themselves and others, including physicians, with respect to the nature of the autistic disorder and the efficacy of Early ibi." consistent with Justice Allan's decision in its entirety, expresses automatic and comprehensive biases that in autism can still. The auton parents' lawyer Chris Hinkson, in the government's appeal of the parents' victory in Auton, contributed this: "The inability to communicate is one of the hallmarks of autism. These children, left untreated, will be doomed to a life of institutionalization and looking inwardly only." This mosaic of false equations and oppositions, which might equally have been uttered by any of the auton judges, again and easily prevailed. Any ethical consideration for autistics had long vacated the premises. And while ethics were exiled, as has happened in other times, places, trials, disciplines, and battles, those opposing aba were preoccupied with other matters.

The confounding factor of unethical dissent. Apart from objecting to aversives, autism-aba opponents have been, it seems, too busy to take on ethics. What they have taken on would fill a phone book: threats to internal and external validity, randomized assignment, differential sex proportions (inadequate chi-square analysis selection bias, statistical regression, outcome measures, the problem of residual autism and how to detect it, the problem of replication, the. The non-behaviourist-generated scientific criticisms of aba are mostly indistinguishable, as Dr lovaas would say, from behaviourist criticisms. Both have at times been tinged with unsuccessfully-disguised awe for the magnitude of Dr lovaas' accomplishments. It didn't take long after 1987 for developmental theories and treatments of autism to develop behavioural offshoots and practices.

Autism is incompatible with achievement, intelligence, physical and psychological integrity, dignity, autonomy, and learning: either you are autistic or you have access to these possibilities. Either the autistic gets aba, and comes to resemble a non-autistic, or the autistic is doomed. Autism equals a nuclear bomb, a stroke, diabetes, a terminal illness, being "riddled with pain from a terrible accident and again, always, cancer. If you are against aba then you are for institutionalization. If aba is criticized then children will be destroyed.


Autism is incompatible with humanity: either you are autistic or you are human. If an autistic is deprived of aba then he will end up being thrown to the floor and sat on by four large attendants in a group home. All these overlapping views were expressed by behaviourist parents, judges, organizations, lawyers, and experts, in documents and in conversation. Here's another one: in Auton, a behaviourist expert witness testified that autism equals aids. This equation appears in Justice Allan's decision, which accurately reflects the parade of entirely non-autistic witnesses through her courtroom, as well as the priorities of the lawyers and parties involved. A statement like the following, "The adult petitioners (and the families of autistic children 'behind the scenes' in this litigation) are remarkable individuals.

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When i asked asat to explain the dissertation scientific basis for equating autism with cancer, pdf they responded with silence, not science. The behaviourist behaviour of recruiting cancer has also found free reign in legal battles arising from the sheer expense of sustaining the autism-aba industry. In the auton case, canada's aba legal epic, the autism-equals-cancer statement of Madame justice marion Allan echoed and was echoed in the autism-equals-cancer variations of the petitioners and became a media staple. When a judge, or Dr maurice, or any behaviourist yells cancer, any ethical consideration for autistic people obediently hurries to the nearest exit. False equations and false oppositions. A false opposition is a perversion of reality using an if-then or either-or construction: false in that the opposed entities constitute a non-sequitur, and false in that the existence of any other possibility is denied. False oppositions (if autistic children must be treated ethically then they will be doomed) and false equations (autism equals cancer) have elbowed aside empirical evidence and have become central to the legal, scientific, and popular promotion of the autism-aba industry. Here are some more: Autism equals tragedy, suffering, and doom. Either autistic children are successfully treated through early intensive behaviour interventions or they are condemned to a life of isolation and institutionalization.

autism dissertation

She pleaded that applying ethical standards, in the area of informed consent, to autism research would be harmful to autistics. Her emotional testimony was reported favourably in the newsletter of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment (asat which has been prominent in its support for the autism-aba industry. Asat's stringent scientific standards are splashed around its website and newsletter and are integral to its mission. With the authority of its hefty advisory board, asat reported that good science and good ethics are incompatible in autism. Further, ethics would be destructive of autism research and the death of hope for parents of autistics everywhere. More recently, dr statement Catherine maurice tackled a series of autism-aba ethics questions, about recovery from autism, posed by an on-line journal with "Leadership" in its title. Her stratagem was to substitute in each question the word "cancer" for the word "autism". She sealed her argument by rebranding aba as chemotherapy, and who's against chemotherapy? This piece of rhetoric then showed up in asat's newsletter.

: problem solved. The just concerns about continuing physical punishment of autistics in other programs can no longer be used as ammunition against aba. Then there is the behaviourist quandary of whether a controlled trial of autism-aba would be ethical, since the controls would be deprived of this presumed-to-be-effective treatment. Aba goes nowhere without its unique vapour trail of adjectives like "scientifically-proven" and "medically-necessary". Parents and researchers alike have found this sky-writing difficult to resist. In consequence, protocols like randomized assignment and matched controls have been switched from the good science camp to the bad ethics camp: problem solved. An objective observer might notice how circular this logic is, and how expedient. Rhetoric in autism treatment, another issue has earned the attention of behaviourists. In 1999, the mother of two autistic boys testified before a us bioethics committee.

Since ethics problems do not spontaneously resolve themselves, instead tending to accumulate and escalate, the interlocking framework and narrative are put to work. This results in specific ethical challenges, and some proposed remedies, for behaviourists of all kinds who have as their goal extinguishing autistic behaviour, and therefore autistic people. Part one: segregating ethics from autism. Introducing behaviourists and behaviourist ethics. Not everyone is a behaviourist these days, but so long as the target essays for behaviour modification is autistic, the ranks are impressive. Apart from the behaviour analysts themselves, autism-aba adherents include therapists, educators and instructors; parents, grandparents, friends-of-the-family; funding bodies, autism societies, professional and pressure groups; professors, lawyers, judges, and journalists; politicians, bureaucrats, and the quebec Human Rights Commission. All have failed to notice that they themselves are behaving unethically.

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Home, index, blog, no, autistics Allowed: Autism Society canada Speaks For Itself. The misbehaviour of behaviourists, ethical Challenges to the autism-aba industry by michelle dawson, since the publication. Ivar lovaas' landmark 1987 dissertation study, scientific and legal attention has been lavished on Applied Behaviour Analysis as an autism treatment. Dr lovaas' supporters and opponents, whether principled or opportunist, have been loud, plentiful, prolific, and well-credentialed. But when it comes to the test of ethics, to allotting autistics rudimentary ethical consideration, all sides and factions for and against aba have persistently and thoroughly failed. In an investigation of this failure, diverse aspects of ethical standards in the autism-aba industry are explored and compared. A framework emerges suggesting the nature and scope, as well as the causes and motives, of the unethical treatment of autistics. At the same time, a narrative emerges. It resonates with the past and current unethical treatment of other atypical human beings.


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