‘The line between intervention and abuse’ – autism and applied behaviour analysis

  title={‘The line between intervention and abuse’ – autism and applied behaviour analysis},
  author={Pat Kirkham},
  journal={History of the Human Sciences},
  pages={107 - 126}
  • P. Kirkham
  • Published 1 April 2017
  • Psychology
  • History of the Human Sciences
This article outlines the emergence of ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) in the mid-20th century, and the current popularity of ABA in the anglophone world. I draw on the work of earlier historians to highlight the role of Ole Ivar Lovaas, the most influential practitioner of ABA. I argue that reception of his initial work was mainly positive, despite concerns regarding its efficacy and use of physical aversives. Lovaas’ work, however, was only cautiously accepted by medical practitioners until… 

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