Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA)
At Gather+Grow, we recognize that there has been significant harm been caused by traditional ABA therapy, the likes of "extinguishing" behavior, planned ignoring, and punitive practices. Gather+Grow's position aligns with the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) - all forms of compliance training are inhumane.
That said, structured data collection ensures that our interventions are having the intended outcome. Observing behavior, understanding trauma responses, developing hypotheses as to why challenging or counterproductive behavior is occurring, and using that data to make informed decisions about how to teach adaptive behavior, communicate authentically, and live fulfilled lives is effective therapy.
Many skills addressed by ABA can and often should be provided in collaboration with specialists in the areas of speech-language therapy (SLP), occupational therapy (OT), and behavioral & mental health (LCSW, LPC, LMFT, or BCBA). When collaboration is absent, the whole-person may be pigeonholed as a "behavior." At Gather+Grow, we operate from a holistic (whole-person) model to provide comprehensive support addressing areas such as social communication, emotional regulation, sensory processing, and developing positive or more adaptive coping strategies to replace challenging behaviors that do not meet our needs.
We seek to collaborate with and hire providers of all disciplines who align with neurodivergent-affirming, trauma-informed, and person-centered practices. We treat each child, adolescent, and adult that we work with as the unique individual that they are, celebrating each person's beautiful humanity!