Our contribution is to argue that, from a bioethical perspective, autism advocates are fully justified in their concerns—the rights of autistic children and their parents are being regularly infringed upon. Specifically, we will argue that employing ABA violates the principles of justice and nonmaleficence and, most critically, infringes on the autonomy of children and (when pushed aggressively) of parents as well.

We will argue that ABA is pro tanto unethical because it violates the autonomy of the children who are subject to it. We recognize that this argument will be controversial, not least because it is uncommon in the bioethical literature to treat respect for autonomy as a relevant moral consideration in decision making on behalf of young children. However, we think this generally is an error. An additional benefit of examining why ABA violates autonomy is that it helps illustrate one reason why respect for autonomy is morally relevant when making decisions on behalf of even young children.

As a framing device, we will take as given that gay conversion therapy is unethical and argue that ABA is coercive in a remarkably similar way.

Source: Project MUSE – Ethical Concerns with Applied Behavior Analysis for Autism Spectrum “Disorder”


But, someone realised there was a way to say that there is Big Money in ‘fixing’ us so we’re not autistic any more. And Big Business likes Big Money.

So, the myths started. About cost, about danger, about tragedy. Who wouldn’t pay a fortune to fix a tragedy? Also, about disability. It’s a fault, a deficit, something’s gone ‘wrong’, you’ll be told. Except it isn’t, any more than being gay is a fault and a deficit and an opportunity to cure. Groups tried that, too. Remember that being gay was in the mental health books, and people made a fortune out of ‘gay cure therapies’. Now those are being banned after the gay people said how much damage those therapies did. Guess what some autism ‘therapies’ are based on? Same techniques. But now used on people who can’t say that it hurts, or aren’t believed when they say it hurts.

Meantime, we have made society so bad for autistic people and the scaremongering so effective that our quality of life is often really awful. That’s not ‘autism’ that did that.

Instead, if you must hand over money, ensure that actual autistic specialists receive it. Or our allies. People who understand how to actually help your child, because we were once pretty much the same as your child. And we have spent decades in this trade, learning things that help.

Autistic people are not lab rats who exist so that shareholders can make money.

Source: Ann’s Autism Blog: Let’s look at why “Autism is the most expensive disability” is untrue.