Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a common treatment for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In a recent volume of this journal, Sanvodal-Norton and Shkedy (2019) published a criticism of behavior analysis including the professionals and entire field as a discipline—of demonstrating unethical behavior, creating prompt dependency in the learners, destroying internal motivation, and refusing to collaborate with new and other treatment philosophies. The current paper is a response to the these claims by providing several examples of peer-reviewed studies that contradicts the authors’ arguments, and summarizing the information of the included study’s findings by and other objective. The primary purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that, contrary to the perspectives of Sanvodal-Norton and Shkedy (2019), ABA is scientific approach that identifies environmental variables that influence socially significant behaviors and develop strategies to cause behavior change that is practical and applicable, improve educational outcomes, and provide real-life support for parents and families who are seeking treatment for their loved one with ASD. In doing so, this paper will demonstrate that ABA is an efficacious approach that is supported by numerous scientific studies in the peer-reviewed literature.
A grant from the One-University Open Access Fund at the University of Kansas was used to defray the author's publication fees in this Open Access journal. The Open Access Fund, administered by librarians from the KU, KU Law, and KUMC libraries, is made possible by contributions from the offices of KU Provost, KU Vice Chancellor for Research & Graduate Studies, and KUMC Vice Chancellor for Research. For more information about the Open Access Fund, please see http://library.kumc.edu/authors-fund.xml.
Kathryn A. Gorycki, Paula R. Ruppel & Thomas Zane | (2020) Is long-term ABA therapy abusive: A response to Sandoval-Norton and Shkedy, Cogent Psychology, 7:1, 1823615, DOI: 10.1080/23311908.2020.1823615