Panel presentation: The Human Rights Case Against Harmful Behaviour Modification for Autistic People
“This is heartbreaking,” wrote Kenyan autistic activist Karen Muriuki as PAABA officials began blocking autistic people from commenting on their standard of ethics during the launch of the organisation online. “Why silence autistic Africans who are advocating for disability and human rights? This a total violation of CRPD Articles 7, 15 and 16.”
This letter followed a meeting between Tania Melnyczuk and academics who are developing an autism awareness programme. It provides an example of how ABA promotors violate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) and mentions the international #BanABA movement.
ABA is a behaviour modification method for the ‘treatment’ of autism. It is used particularly with autistic children who struggle with communication and self-regulation. ABA is touted as being ‘evidence-based’, in spite of there being little evidence of support from the community ABA purports to serve. This article, written for a South African audience, includes perspectives of several non-speaking autistics on their ABA experiences.