Autism ABA and NET Part 2: Our Family’s Story

In my last post, I discussed some of the controversy surrounding Applied Behavior Analysis therapy (ABA) and how Natural Environment Training (NET) might be a nice compromise for parents who want to try the therapy but are apprehensive about its intensity. In this post, I’ll explain our family’s experience with both therapies. While our story isn’t necessarily representative of either mode of therapy, it may offer some useful information for families considering these interventions for their children.

Natural Environment Training (NET): An ABA Compromise for Parents?

natural environment training and autism abaApplied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a popular therapy for children and young adults on the autism spectrum. Despite the scientific data supporting the effectiveness of ABA, this therapy has been scrutinized by the autistic community for its widespread unethical administration. The ABA debate can be confusing to parents who are trying to find the best resources and supports for their autistic children. For parents skeptical of ABA therapy, the natural environment training (or teaching) (NET) branch may offer a compromise.

An Autism Awareness Story: Autism Meets Law Enforcement

I recently experienced the anxiety autistics and their parents sometimes face when confronted with law enforcement (albeit on a small scale) due to a lack of autism awareness. It reminded me of my neurotypical privilege in yet another aspect of life.

autism awareness law enforcement

Many law enforcement agencies are conducting autism awareness training, teaching officers how to identify autistic behaviors and appropriately deescalate potential conflicts.

My son is fascinated with maps and geography and has always wanted to travel to other countries. When he was four, he could draw and label the entire United States as well as several other countries (His drawings have always kept the families behind us in church entertained!)

Advocating for a Sensory-Friendly Classroom

sensory-friendly classroom

Some sensory issues block a child’s ability to learn in a given environment. A sensory-friendly classroom addresses the environmental needs of students and optimizes their learning potential.

Learning isn’t always fascinating, exciting, or rewarding for all children. For students with sensory processing issues, the school environment can be frighteningly unpredictable and stressful. Because your children will spend the majority of their waking hours at school, it is critical to ensure their educational environment meets their sensory needs in order to optimize health, safety, and learning potential. The most common issues teachers see in children who have sensory processing difficulties are an inability to focus or to sit long enough to learn. The goal of a sensory-friendly classroom is to create a comfortable and attentive state for a student, which is optimal for learning.

Inject Autism Acceptance Into Your Awareness Campaign

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Add Acceptance

 An Important Addition

“Awareness” is a vague, hackneyed noun that every supporter of any cause in the world touts as their primary advocacy goal.

But what does it mean to be more aware of autism? Or breast cancer, or childhood leukemia, or poverty, or heart disease? Knowing that someone suffers doesn’t mean that much unless people are compelled to act. There must be a secondary agenda beyond awareness.…

An Introduction

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The Learn from Autistics logo. Everyone has a voice. Let’s listen.

About Me

My introduction to autism came in 2000 when I was in high school and my younger brother (who was in eighth grade at the time) was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. I didn’t know a lot about autism then, but I had lived side-by-side with my brother long enough to begin understanding what autism can look like and some of the struggles autistic people face in an unaccommodating environment.

I understood autism more intimately when my first son was born in 2008.…