The autistic community is having a reckoning with ABA therapy & More | May 2022

Autistic & Divergent Voices

Autistic and Non-autistic voices are included in this compilation.

The autistic community is having a reckoning with ABA therapy. We should listen



Private equity has shown initiative in its jump into autism services in recent years–a move that acknowledges the support autistic individuals and their families need.

In 2018, Blackstone acquired the Center for Autism and Related Disorders, the world’s largest autism therapy provider. Similar acquisitions by other firms soon followed.

In their efforts to streamline responsive services for this population, investors and others within and outside of the autism community should be aware of the paradigm shift happening around autism services as new evidence emerges, and particularly Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)therapy, one of the main interventions for the disability.….



Conceptualising Autistic Masking, Camouflaging, and Neurotypical Privilege: Towards a Minority Group Model of Neurodiversity

Radulski E.M. 


Autistic masking and camouflaging – concealing Autistic traits and “passing” as non-Autistic – are linked to negative developmental consequences including stress, mental illness, identity loss, and suicidality. Recent psychological literature on masking and camouflaging seeks to urgently address these issues – yet overlooks relevant sociological research.

This study uses Sara Ahmed and Frantz Fanon’s work on masking, alongside Judith Butler’s concept of performativity, to formulate distinct sociological definitions for Autistic masking and camouflaging.

I offer a qualitative critical discourse analysis of 2018’s #TakeTheMaskOff neurodiversity activism campaign, alongside psychology masking/camouflaging literature, to question the social drivers of masking and camouflaging. Autism is widely understood as an “invisible” disability.

However, I found that the necessity of masking and camouflaging to avoid discrimination renders Autistic people a “visible Neurominority group.” Proposing a new Minority Group Model of Neurodiversity, I argue that Neurotypical hegemony, invisibility, and majority group privilege are key social drivers of masking and camouflaging. 


LGBTQ+ conversion therapy and applied behavior analysis: A call to action

Daniel E Conine, Sarah C Campau, Abigail K Petronelli


The term conversion therapy refers to any practices intended to alter a person’s sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, or any combination thereof. The present-day scientific consensus is that such practices are not only ineffective, but highly harmful and fundamentally unethical. However, historical connections exist between applied behavior analysis and the design and dissemination of conversion therapy practices. The purpose of this paper is to highlight these connections and to call for further attention and action from contemporary behavior analysts on this matter. Specifically, we call for continued discussion and review of previously published conversion therapy papers according to present-day guidelines for ethical research, position statements from professional organizations, additional ethics guidelines for behavior-analytic practice, and future behavior-analytic research and practice efforts that support LGBTQ+ people.


A conceptual analysis of Autistic Masking: Understanding the narrative of stigma and the illusion of choice

Amy Pearson & Kieran Rose

Academic publication

This is a peer-reviewed academic publication written by Kieran and Dr Amy Pearson, a Developmental Psychologist and Senior Lecturer from the University of Sunderland.

It was published in the Academic Journal, Autism in Adulthood.

In the paper Kieran and Amy discuss the issues with the current academic understanding of Autistic Masking, highlight the reasons why it is so much deeper than *just* a series of social strategies and explain why trauma and stigma play such a huge role.

The paper also discusses the problematic narrative around the creation of phenotypes in Autism based upon a notion of Autistic Women and Girls experiencing a ‘different type’ of Autism because it is thought that group mask *better*

There are a huge number of citations to research around Masking in this article.


Having all of your internal resources exhausted beyond measure and being left with no clean up crew: Defining Autistic Burnout

Academic research paper

The Autistic Advocate

This is the only piece of research that currently exists investigating Autistic Burnout. It is free to access.

f you saw someone going through Autistic Burnout would you be able to recognise it? Would you even know what it means? Would you know what it meant for yourself if you are an Autistic person?  The sad truth is that so many Autistic people, children and adults, go through this with zero comprehension of what is happening to them and with zero support from their friends and families.

If you’re a parent reading this, I can confidently say that I bet that no Professional, from diagnosis, through any support services you’re lucky enough to have been given, will have mentioned Autistic Burnout or explained what it is.  If you’re an Autistic person, nobody will have told you about it either, unless you’ve engaged with the Autistic community.

Autistic Burnout is an integral part of the life of an Autistic person that affects us pretty much from the moment we’re born to the day we die, yet nobody, apart from Autistic people really seem to know about it…



2 responses to “The autistic community is having a reckoning with ABA therapy & More | May 2022”

  1. Glad you found the Radulski E.M. paper – at least its Abstract

    [which is all I’ve been able to glom on since last week or the last 10 days].

    #TakeTheMaskOff 2018 was very needed at the time.

    It seems to be the most radical of the four or five papers about neurodiversity and its frameworks {for researchers and the rest of us} which were published in a recent HUMAN DEVELOPMENT issue [Karger by publisher].

    [the others in that HUMAN DEVELOPMENT issue:

    Ne’eman and Pellicano

    Botha and Gillespie-Lynch

    Dwyer P].

    I am glad also that Ariana Cernius retracted that 2016 article about Californian insurance.

    Must have gone so near home, Eve!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: