What a Parent Sees: Unbiased Functional Behavior Assessment

Diagnosis: Autism Spectrum Disorder

When our very young son was diagnosed with autism in the first years of the millennium, it was a fright and a challenge. Both his parents had been perfect students, but our son was a “behavioral” mess – a mystery standing right in front of us. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is still the single most researched therapy for autism. To learn how to help him, I attended weeks of parent workshops on ABA at a small, renowned local autism school.

I began to learn the language and logic of teaching and changing behavior with ABA. Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 12.13.57 AMWhatever increases a desired outcome is “reinforcing” it, so it is a “positive reinforcer.” If I could became a contingent rewards-giving engine, reinforcing good things,

upset and wet, from http://www.therapee.com

 …could my “behavioral” little boy become perfect?

The things that worked to “reinforce” my young son felt unnatural to me. Continue reading