2nd DoP against ABA: I can’t doesn’t mean I won’t

Home » Activism » 2nd DoP against ABA: I can’t doesn’t mean I won’t

I’m not going to bother to explain what ABA is. I’m not going to explain the many abuses behind it. I want you to understand a single thing today.

“I can’t,” in any form does not mean “I won’t.”
Pushing blocks off a table does not mean “I won’t.”
Running around a table does not mean “I won’t.”
Hiding under the table does not mean “I won’t.”
“I caaaaaan’t,” does not mean “I won’t.”

Yet somehow, ABA somehow believes “I can’t” is the same thing as “I won’t.” Because in ABA, both are behaviors that need to be changed, by force if the therapist has to. Behavior isn’t a matter of access to a BCBA. Behavior isn’t a matter of ability or spoons. Behavior isn’t communication or body language. It is the “Do” or “Do Not.” There’s no wiggle room for I can’t. Lack of knowledge is just meant to result in taking the child’s hand and forcing them to do. To point. To grab. And if they do not, if they resist, it is a choice. It is intentional. It is “I won’t.”

ABA does not allow for accessibility needs. It does not allow for support needs. It only allows for compliance or non-compliance. What happens to the children who can’t. What happens to the brains of children who know what to do but can’t. What happens to the children who can sometimes, but many times can’t. What happens to the children who most of the times can, but only a fraction of the time can’t.

They’re told they’re not like those other people. They are told their wishes and desires do not matter. They are told their needs are nonexistent. They are forced into places where they are expected to perform the same day after day with no care for what their neurodivergence. All because “I can’t!” doesn’t exist.

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