Why ABA is not a good therapeutic fit for Occupational Therapists.

Novak’s Systematic Review (SR) of paediatric interventions in occupational therapy rates ABA as a green light intervention?? How and why would an OT SR even consider including ABA as a good fit with OT? Why?

We keep being told the article must be relied upon, as it’s a SR and these count more than almost all other research? Why?

While much of OT relies on science based research techniques, if we are truly holistic and believe Occupational Therapy goes beyond the medical model, then so must our research methods go beyond RCT and SR as evidence.

Narrative and lived experience must count. And, if we are to do no harm, then the common sense that so critical to our profession must prevail. This pragmatic common sense is grown in us as students to shape us and enhance our ability to help our clients find creative and very practical ways to live their often very tricky lives. The essence of occupational therapy.

Do we really need an RCT or systematic review of ABA practice before curtailing it?

Anyone fancy writing the ethics or grant application to get time off to write an article to stop something that should never be allowed to happen? Something that ignores the person’s every attempt to communicate, touches without consent and promotes child compliance with anything an adult demands?

I would love to see the ethics board member’s faces on receiving the application.

Please see this narrative and watch these videos. Read this parents common sense discussion about ABA.

Then please think about if ignoring communication and demanding compliance is in line with the values OT espouses? Is it about developing independence and promoting participation in daily life?

How much compliance is too much compliance: Is long-term ABA therapy abuse?

ABA requires daily therapy for years… where is the quality of life?