An autism parent’s stress level correlates with the perception of recovery. When a parent believes that their child looks normal, and therefore can be made to behave normally, then they are imagining a recovery. A parent of a child who looks developmentally different, will be more likely to expect normalization, and then focus the intervention on skills acquisition.
What does this say about Applied behavior Analysis (ABA) and the explicit focus on normalizing autistics by force, because of a parent’s shame?
The parents who have children diagnosed with autism are statistically significantly more stressed out than the parents who have a child with down syndrome. So there is something extra there. It’s not just the fact that they have developmental disability, it’s even more when you have a child with autism. And I think we can guess why: you can’t recover a child with down syndrome. You can’t, but you might be able to for a child with autism, if you do 40 hours of work a week, through a Lovaas program or some other type of applied behavior analysis approach. That exacerbates a lot folks’ stress.
Daniel J. Moran (Author), (2012). Acceptance & Commitment Therapy: Immediate, Effective Clinical Interventions – That Really Work!. PESI Inc.. [Streaming Video].