Does ABA make the children act like robots?

A:

No. A quality ABA program is designed for each individual and considers each child’s preferences and individual skill level when their curriculum is developed. ABA methods target a variety of skills including generalized responding and creative behavior. Thus, a quality program will teach children to respond in natural and creative ways.

Catherine Maurice, a mother of two children diagnosed with autism wrote a book describing her experience with autism and several treatments. Her two children were successfully treated with ABA methodology. The following quote is from her child, Anne-Marie’s pre-kindergarten teachers.

“… Anne-Marie is friendly and caring. She continues to make contact more easily with her peers and she is forming deeper relationships with them…. Anne-Marie feels close to her teachers and is sharing more of her thoughts with them now… Anne-Marie is a cooperative, helpful group member who has learned to take her share of responsibility ….Anne Marie is a capable child who is eager to learn. It’s a pleasure to see Anne-Marie feeling comfortable and relaxed in her school environment and actively enjoying our various group activities with her classmates…” (Maurice, p. 286).

Reference

Maurice, Catherine (1993). Let me hear your voice. A family’s triumph over autism. NY: Fawcett Columbine.