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Neurodiversity Affirming Therapy

Find out if our beliefs and approaches align with yours. Will we be a good fit for each other?

At our practice, we are committed to providing the highest quality care that aligns with our values of promoting autonomy, dignity, and positive growth for all individuals. Our philosophy and approach does not fit with approaches such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Here's why:

Respect for Autonomy

We believe in respecting the autonomy and agency of every individual, regardless of their neurodivergent status. ABA has faced criticism for its history of prioritizing compliance and conformity over the individual's own desires and choices. Our therapeutic approach is rooted in empowering individuals to make their own decisions and develop skills that are meaningful to them.

Focus on Communication and Emotional Well-being

ABA has been known to place heavy emphasis on changing outward behaviors, often neglecting the emotional and communicative aspects of an individual's experience. We believe that effective therapy should go beyond surface-level behavior modification, addressing the individual's emotional well-being, fostering authentic communication, and promoting a holistic sense of self.

 

Positive vs. Negative Reinforcement

ABA has sometimes relied on a system of rewards and punishments to shape behavior. While this can lead to immediate results, it may not always foster a genuine understanding of why certain behaviors are being encouraged or discouraged. Our approach emphasizes positive reinforcement, where individuals are encouraged and supported through positive experiences and intrinsic motivation.

 

Promotion of Natural Development

Critics of ABA have expressed concerns that it can lead to a focus on "normalization" rather than embracing an individual's natural developmental trajectory. We believe in celebrating neurodiversity and supporting individuals in developing skills and strategies that align with their unique strengths and needs, rather than conforming to predetermined benchmarks.

 

Ethical Considerations

The ethical concerns surrounding ABA have prompted conversations about consent, respect for an individual's choices, and the potential for harm in some instances. We prioritize ethical considerations in our therapy approach, seeking to ensure the well-being and autonomy of each individual we work with.

 

Alternative Therapeutic Approaches

In place of ABA, we offer a range of therapeutic approaches that are grounded in the principles of neurodiversity, strengths-based perspectives, and person-centered care. Our goal is to provide a safe and affirming space where individuals can explore their unique identities, develop meaningful skills, and achieve personal growth in ways that resonate with their values and aspirations.

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