10 Myths You Will Hear at Thursday’s ABA Rally

On Thursday, March 7th, some Ontario parents and ABA providers will gather at Queen’s Park to express their concerns about autism funding in our province. While many parents will be attending with a variety of concerns, the main organizers of this rally are a pro-ABA lobby and the main speakers will be promoting the old Ontario plan, which only funded ABA.

A gathering this large could be a chance to present differing approaches and ideas about positive changes to autism policy. Our government recognizes the need for change and the conversation is long overdue. But change is not on the agenda of the rally organizers. Up on the stage, it’s just another rally for ABA.

We will be there on the sidewalks, sharing our views with those who want to discuss. We are also sharing here some of the myths about ABA you may hear at the rally.

Myth 1:
“My child can’t speak, so I am his voice.”
Fact: Everyone communicates. It’s a parent’s job to help their child communicate with every tool available. Ask us about AAC!

Myth 2: “Without IBI, my child could never: dress/bathe/go to school…”
Fact: Autistic children learn life skills with a range of methods. ABA is not the only way. In the UK, ABA is not recognized as valid by the NHS, yet children learn life skills.

Myth 3: “Without more ABA, something terrible is going to happen, like a child wandering away from school, being hurt or killed by a teacher.”
Fact: Children are safe at schools without ABA. What keeps kids safe are safety measures and inclusion, as well as teacher training in de-escalation, not ABA.

Myth 4: “There are two kinds of autism, high-functioning and low-functioning.”
Fact: The research and expert community no longer break autism up that way: instead they recognize a range of service needs along a spectrum through life.

Myth 5: “Without ABA, autistic children can’t learn to communicate.”
Fact: AAC (communication tools for nonspeaking autistics), have been developed by tech teams who have no connection to ABA. AAC is taught by a range of providers who do not require ABA training.

Myth 6: “ABA and IBI are life-saving treatment, like chemotherapy.”
Fact: Autism is not a life-threatening illness and ABA is not a medical treatment. The myth is also hurtful to those struggling with life-threatening diseases.

Myth 7: “Many autistic children need 40 hrs per week of therapy”
Fact: No child needs a full-time job. They need time to be kids for healthy childhood development. IBI therapists make more money the more hours they can charge for.

Myth 8: “ABA is the only evidence-based treatment. Ontario is now funding sub-clinical services.”
Fact: There are numerous evidence-based approaches and amazing non-ABA therapists providing service and helping kids every day. The ABA industry will NOT shut them out of Ontario.

Myth 9: “The schools will be over-run with autistic children, and this means trouble.”
Fact: Our schools have been in trouble for a long time. Inclusion is the answer, not more ABA.

Myth 10: “Pay now or pay later. Our kids need ABA/IBI to succeed.”
Fact: What autistic children needs most is patience, love and meaningful supports and services. Trust us. We’ve been there.

Thanks for reading! We hope you will look around our website more and learn everything you can about different approaches to autism policy. It’s time for change.