I've been debating myself whether or not I should even MAKE this series of posts..., and I've come to the conclusion that no matter HOW excruciatingly difficult it might be to read and watch this stuff (don't say I didn't warn you), it IS a part of autism history, and as such it not only DESERVES to be talked about, it NEEDS to be talked about, for the sake of those who lived through it.
This is post number 3 (I will add a link to the previous one down in comments):
Here is a documentary from the 80s about the original Lovaas study back in the 60s, also showing other children in later years receiving ABA. We also get to see a few of the children involved in the original study, twenty years later, all grown up. I wonder where they are TODAY?
In the very beginning, we get to see Ivar Løvaas - the Norwegian-American clinical psychologist and professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), considered to be a pioneer within the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA) - himself using positive reinforcement as a way of "treating" children with autism.
Watching that man "in action" with the little girl on the chair gives me the creeps... What we DON'T get to see are the negative punishments, the APPALLING methods such as slaps, loud screaming and ELECTRIC SHOCKS that would also be used by him and others in order to "condition" autistic children into behaving "properly".
This was more than just a "social experiment". This was how autistic individuals were TREATED in order to "behave normally", even though there's nothing "normal" about it.
Showing less "obvious" autistic traits doesn't mean one isn't still autistic. These people were turning the kids into little less than trained monkeys IMNSHO for QUITE a number of years, using threats and punishments, causing fear, pain and stress..., and once the initial UCLA study was over and done with, most of the children involved went back to receiving little to no special support and/or services, many of them went straight back to being institutionalized.
Breaks my heart, I truly DO thank my lucky star that I myself never had to experience any of that... 😪
This documentary clearly shows the need for CONTINUED treatment, support and services to be provided to autistic individuals as they get older, as they "age out" of various childhood programs. Without continued training, interactions, activities, a lot of the individuals on the more "severe" end of the spectrum both can and will regress, and "slip away". Sadly we HAVEN'T come much farther than this today in many places around the world. This NEEDS to change, autism is a lifelong condition, and some of us will need lifelong help and support, things that work need to continue, no matter HOW old we get! 😔 -Mrs. entryreqrd #LetsTalkAutism#autism#history#ABA#Lovaashttps://youtu.be/oGhIcAnBQZ4