Although it is both one of the more “scientific” of the social sciences and also one of the most applied, Psychology has a long history of inventing both “diseases” and “treatments” for them while turning a blind eye to applications that fail to incorporate scientific knowledge and rights-based protections. Despite continued exposure of such practices, they continue to arise, with academics making their careers and practitioners making profits while patients and society suffer some of the consequences. This piece focuses on one of the latest of these modern science fiction horrors in a subfield that has been at continual fault: the mis-definition and treatment of “Autism” in the anti-science practice of “Applied Behavioral Analysis” (“ABA”). While ABA has arisen in the discipline of psychology, it is now authorized by public school educators and provided by unlicensed professionals with the discipline of Psychology failing to establish appropriate review procedures for its practices and educators, service providers (social workers who may or may not be professionals) and government agencies also failing to uphold ethical and legal action. Public and legal oversight have also failed. The author, a Ph.D. social worker, “survivor” of ABA “treatment” and the mother of a child who died from an ABA related injury, addresses the issue directly in this article.
Levinstein, Kathleen P.
"Distorting Psychology and Science at the Expense of Joy: Human Rights Violations Against Human Beings with Autism Via Applied Behavioral Analysis,"
Catalyst: A Social Justice Forum: Vol. 8
, Article 5.
Available at: http://trace.tennessee.edu/catalyst/vol8/iss1/5