I Love ABA!

Welcome to my blog all about Applied Behavior Analysis!

This blog is about my experiences, thoughts, and opinions on ABA. My career as an ABA provider is definitely a passion and a joy, and I love what I do.

This is a personal blog: The views and opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the people, institutions, or organizations that I may be affiliated with.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I Love Autism.

I have a previous post about why I love ABA and my reasons for starting this blog, but in addition to ABA I also love Autism. It isn’t often that Autism is discussed as something positive, and if you do a web search of the word “Autism” most of the results will be about diagnosis or treatment. Of course, it is important to know what Autism is and how to manage the symptoms of it. But its also important to look at what’s great about Autism. The population of Autism is my favorite to work with.

Depending on where you are in your journey with Autism, you may hate Autism right now. If you are a therapist you may be doing this as just a job, and have no passion for the field. You may be having a hard time dealing with some very difficult clients right now. If you are a parent, you may see Autism as a series of treatments and therapists coming in and out of your home. You may want to completely remove the word Autism from your vocabulary.
I am simply a professional who works with this population of children; by no means do I pretend to have an inkling of understanding as to how difficult it is to raise a child with Autism. What I do have are my own personal reasons as to why I find my career so rewarding and enjoyable, and what I view as some of the BEST things about the children I work with:

  1. The completely creative ways they have of stimming to "get those wiggles out"! If I take a stim toy away, they stim on their hands. If I say “Quiet Hands”, they start to sing. If I say “Quiet Mouth” they stim off the materials on the table.
  2. My kiddos don’t always give away affection or love freely. So when I'm working with a new client, that first time they give me a huge hug or smile at me when I walk through the door, it’s like winning the lottery.
  3. I am a left brain person, so I can relate to a need to have organization, structure, and rules to feel comfortable and to be able to focus.
  4. It cracks me up when my kiddos figure out that the words “All Done” or “Bye Bye” make something go away. After that it’s just a matter of time before I show up at the house for a session, and they immediately say  “All done, Ms. Tameika..... All done”.
  5. The literal and concrete way of understanding things. I was once working with a 6 yr old teaching him to label “wrist”.  I pointed to my wrist and asked him “What is it”, he replied “Brown”. :-)
  6. I love when I get to work with older Aspergers kids because they are some of the most unintentionally funny people I know. Due to a (near) brutal honesty, they have no problem telling you they don’t like your shirt, you have gained weight, or your hair looks funny.
  7. The way anything, including my own body parts, can become a stim. I once worked with a 4 yr old girl who would stim off my arms.
  8. Depending on who you believe, Bill Gates has a mild form of Autism. So if he does, you can thank his Autistic traits (attention to detail, focus, persistence, logical gifts) for every computer you have ever touched! :-)
  9. The excitement and sense of wonder they show when given a new sensory object or toy. I spend far too much money in stores buying sensory toys I know one of my clients would love, and their reaction when I give it to them is worth every penny.
  10. My kiddos can always figure out how to open something, how something works, or how to get into the “childproof” packaging. If I can’t figure out a toy, I just hand it to one of my kiddos. Within seconds, the toy is on and talking (and usually I didn’t even know the toy could talk).
  11. Their laughter. For some of my kiddos, it isn’t often that they laugh at anything. So when I make them giggle or laugh I feel like I earned it.
  12. The first time I hear them communicate. If a child is nonverbal and has no echolalia, the most I hear is humming, wordless singing, or grunts/noises.Getting a nonverbal child to use language to communicate is my own reinforcement to keep doing what I do.
  13. My kiddos have a better memory than I do. If I promise we will do something, they don’t let me forget it. If we are headed to the park and I forget their favorite ball, they let me know. If I move ONE thing in the therapy room from where it usually goes, they let me know.
  14. I love seeing my kids display pride. When I go crazy and start shouting and clapping because they finally learned a really hard skill, they smile and beam with pride in themselves.
  15. I love watching my kiddos try to problem solve how to get their way: Pout? No, not working. Throw some toys? No, she didn’t blink. Scream at her? Nothing. Walk over to her and make the sign for “drink”? Yes, that finally worked!


  1. Yes, I agree! When searching for Autism I've only found 'sad' websites!! This is the first one that share lots of enthusiasm! Thank you!


    1. I know, and thats such a shame. I plan to keep on sharing enthusiasm :-)
      Thanks for your comment!