What is Normal?

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chopsticks eating-handsWhen we lived in New York City, we had friends from Bangladesh who invited us over for dinner. When we arrived at their apartment, we expected to be seated at a table and be served food. They both had PhDs from US universities and worked on Wall Street. It took us by surprise when we were seated on the floor in order to eat. We were given no silverware and were expected to eat with our hands. This was very unusual for us. I politely asked for a fork and knife, to which they smiled and obliged. To me, sitting on the floor eating with my hands is very unusual. However, to them, I was the peculiar one who requested a fork in order to eat. Neither one of our ways is the “right” way to eat. We simply learned different customs when we grew up, and to both of us, our unusual ways are “normal.”

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This is the second published Peer-Reviewed Study about VCA, showing that VCA is a proven technique that actually works to teach communication, academics and reduce behaviors in Special Needs children in a school setting. This study is an independent implementation of VCA by Special Education Teachers and further proof that VCA is the most effective and most successful technique out there for the Autism Community and Children with other Special Needs.

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Update: US Government Reports ABA Doesn’t work

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For the second year, the US Government reports that ABA does not work. In the biggest study on autism consisting of 15,928 individuals with autism, the government looked at improvements after 12 and 18 months of ABA services and concluded that “the changes are small and may not be clinically significant.”

The report also looked at the relationship between the change in baseline and the number of hours of rendered ABA services. “For the East region, the trend line indicates that beneficiary scores worsened with more hours of ABA services. In the West region, there is no statistically significant correlation between the total number of direct hours rendered and outcome measure scores.”

The report continues, “There does not appear to be a correlation between outcome measures and the number of hours rendered. In other words, the number of hours rendered does not appear to impact outcomes. If the amount of direct ABA services was correlated with improvement, the trend line would demonstrate a statistically significant negative slope.”

Read the Dept. of Defense Report:

To understand some of the reasoning why ABA does not work, please read the peer reviewed research https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23311908.2019.1641258

The failure of the Functional Behavior Assessment also leads to misinformed treatment of Self Injurious Behaviors in autism. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23311908.2019.1682766


This published peer-reviewed study shows that VCA is a proven technique that actually works to teach communication, academics and reduce behaviors in autistic children. The study also officially means that VCA is research-based and evidence-based in its own right.

The results of the study indicated that individuals utilizing VCA showed statistically significant improvements in communication as well as a decrease in maladaptive behaviors.

Another major outcome is the questioning of the validity of the original diagnosis of intellectual disability given to the nonverbal children with ASD. 

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The Trauma of Broad-Based Inclusion for Students with Autism

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Inclusion is a model where students with disabilities spend most/all of their time in an educational setting with non-disabled students. This model has led many countries to pass laws requiring disabled students be educated in
the least restrictive environment: they should be educated with students without disabilities to the maximum extent possible.

However, this model ignores the very nature of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The autistic brain is different in both function and structure, making deficits in social interaction, inherent and appropriate for their development.

This paper explores research on the autistic brain, comorbidities, child development, and trauma associated with forced inclusion for this population. Research on brain function indicates inclusion can be very stressful and can produce anxiety and post-traumatic stress in children with ASD.

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Fulfilled Wishes!

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wishesAs the New Year approaches, I would like to extend a special wish to each and every one of our extended autism family. It is customary on New Year to wish you a year filled with health and happiness but this year I want to add another wish. May you have the strength to overcome your fears. Over the years, I have found that it is our fears that hold us back and stand in the way of our success and therefore our happiness.

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Treating Self Injurious Behaviors (SIBs) in Autism

Posted by: Admin Tags: There is no tags | Categories: Autism 101, Research


When Ethan was young and had ABA Therapy, he used to hit his head a lot, hold his belly and have other SIBS. As you all know, unfortunately he had ABA for the first 10 years of his life. The BCBA always told us that many kids with autism hit their head because they are “avoiding the task”. So according to them, he was avoiding the task all the time.

Self-injurious behaviors (SIBs) in Autism is one of the most concerning issues a parent of a child with autism case face. It is painful to watch when your child hurts themselves. If you wish to prevent further harm and abuse to your child, then you must read this article. The current approaches to SIBs in children and adults with ASD goes against the successful theories and approaches that psychologists have used for many years to treat SIBs in the general population and are actually counter-intuitive and can perpetuate abuse and learned helplessness.

Read the article https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23311908.2019.1682766