child on train

can we talk about the fact that when the dursleys dropped harry off at kings cross station on september 1st in the sorcerer’s stone they just fucking left, laughing about how he wasn’t going to be able to find platform 9 ¾???? they left an eleven year old child in a busy train station, confused and alone. what would harry have done if he hadn’t found the platform?? wandered around the station for hours with luggage and an owl and no muggle money?? fuck the dursleys honestly

ktms  asked:

I'm an ABA therapist, I've noticed a lot of the adult autistic community speaking out against ABA, as harmful and even abusive. What are your thoughts on ABA, and if you are against it- what should be the alternative? I worry that anti ABA activists will cause parents will pull their children from programs that help them to learn and become more independent instead of working with them to help reform programs and create a stricter code of ethics.

Consider: Your industry has used fear and tragedy rhetoric to create a demand where there wasn’t one. “Early intervention” is not a necessity. Structured therapy is not always called for. Your thinking that there needs to be “an alternative” is inherently wrong.

“ I worry that anti ABA activists will cause parents will pull their children from programs that help them to learn and become more independent instead of working with them to help reform programs and create a stricter code of ethics.“

Uh huh. And while all the grown-ups sit around and argue about ethics, autistic children continue to undergo mistreatment and abuse. Yeah, no thank you. I want the entire industry to die and collapse in on itself. I want every ABA-ist out of a job. I dream of a world where parents pull their children from behaviourism-based programs en masse.

I know you’re new here, so here’s my official “coming out” to you as one of those badly-behaved anti-ABA activists.

Here’s your starting point. Educate yourself.

a note to (what feels like) every ABA therapist ever
http://neurowonderful.tumblr.com/post/112730019116/a-note-to-what-feels-like-every-aba-therapist

If you want me to believe you’re a good behaviourist
http://realsocialskills.org/post/99822366632/if-you-want-me-to-believe-youre-a-good

Why I Left ABA
https://sociallyanxiousadvocate.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/why-i-left-aba/

ABA and Autism – the thorny problem of control and consent 
http://smallbutkindamighty.com/2015/06/16/aba-and-autism-the-thorny-problem-of-control-and-consent/

Appearing to enjoy behaviour modification is not meaningful
http://realsocialskills.org/post/124333076514/appearing-to-enjoy-behavior-modificiation-is-not

ABA therapy is not like typical parenting (this one is relevant to “life skills” acquisition)
http://realsocialskills.org/post/120453082402/aba-therapy-is-not-like-typical-parenting

Resources other than ABA
http://realsocialskills.org/post/126754414929/resources-other-than-aba

How to Tell if an Autism ABA Therapy Is Harmful
http://www.wikihow.com/Tell-if-an-Autism-ABA-Therapy-Is-Harmful

THE MISBEHAVIOUR OF BEHAVIOURISTS: Ethical Challenges to the Autism-ABA Industry
http://www.sentex.net/~nexus23/naa_aba.html

“After you hit a child, you can’t just get up and leave him; you are hooked to that kid" O. Ivar Lovaas Interview With Paul Chance, Psychology Today, 1974
http://neurodiversity.com/library_chance_1974.html

lilith-eves-last-stand  asked:

Sorry if this comes off ignorant, I don't mean it... My son is 4 1/2 and was diagnosed two years ago. I try to do the best I can and let him be him 💕 but while he's in speech therapy (he's still moving into the idea of talking), schools in the area (private) push ABA for students with autism. But I see young adults like yourself saying ABA is NOT good. I'm more inclined to listen to someone on the spectrum than those not, but what is the issue with ABA?

First, I want to say that I am so glad that you are turning to the autistic community for help. This isn’t an ignorant question at all. There is so much conflicting information out there about ABA that it can be hard to even know where to begin. It sounds like you really want to help your son as best you can which is admirable. 

To start off, not all therapy labeled as ABA is actually ABA. I’m going to explain what the issues are with true ABA and then explain how to figure out if the therapy they are trying to push on your son is ABA or not. 

ABA stands for Applied Behavioral Analysis. It is a scientific method that involves observing the individual in order to identify “target behaviors,” i.e. behaviors that are undesirable to the parents/therapist. Next, aversives, rewards, and operant conditioning is used to eliminate these behaviors and encourage wanted behaviors. Overall, this may not sound like a bad thing, so let’s get into why this therapy is harmful. 

The groundwork of ABA therapy is the idea that autistic people are broken and in need of fixing. Our natural, non-harmful behaviors, such as stimming or lack of eye contact, are targeted as behaviors in need of fixing. The main focus of ABA is making a child “indistinguishable from peers,” i.e. to make the child seem “normal.” 

This often includes things like getting rid of stimming (often with the phrase “quiet hands”) and forcing eye contact in order to make the child less noticeably autistic. The problem with this is that stimming is a coping mechanism for autistic people. We stim to regulate our emotions/senses, cope with stress, and express ourselves. Eye contact can be uncomfortable or even painful for us and being forced to perform it can be just awful. 

Further, changing these behaviors does nothing that is truly beneficial for the child. Instead of being trained out of behaviors that are non-harmful, an autistic child should be taught ways to manage their autistic traits in a way that is useful and productive for the child. For instance, if a child is uncomfortable making eye contact, learning to look at a person’s forehead or nose is a great alternative as most people can’t tell the difference. 

Further, due to the focus on making a child indistinguishable from peers, there is often a push towards verbal speech even when atypical methods of communication like sign language or AAC would work better for the child. 

ABA therapy operates by using rewards/reinforces and punishments/aversives to train a child to perform wanted behaviors and to stop unwanted behaviors. Rewards are withheld until the wanted behavior is performed and aversives are used when an unwanted behavior is performed. Often, foods, such as gummy bears, candy, or other tasty treats, are used as rewards as well as praise or affection, access to a comfort object, break time, stickers or stamps that can be traded for privileges/rewards, or access to a special interest. Additionally, some therapists make use of a clicker, a device that makes a loud click sound originally used for training animals, to indicate that a wanted behavior has been performed and that a reward is coming. 

For aversives, the removal of a comfort object, withholding of snacks, removal of reward items, or prevention of engagement in a special interest are often used. Some therapists also use “taste aversives” like pickle juice, vinegar, hot sauce, or other bad tasting edibles, as well as “tactile aversives” which would be making the child touch something that sets off tactile defensiveness or distress. Withholding praise or affection is also used as an aversive. 

In DTT (Discrete Trial Training), a form of ABA that is considered to be kinder than other versions of ABA, the therapist will not look at, engage with, or respond to the autistic child until the desired behavior is performed. Similar methods are employed when unwanted behaviors are displayed. 

As a treatment, ABA is centered around compliance training, in other words, making a child compliant to the desires of the adults in their lives. Rather than focusing on how to help a child live the best autistic life they can, the focus is put on making the child seem “normal” no matter what the cost to the child. This serves only to make parents more comfortable and does little to help the autistic child as they progress through life. 

Using aversives on a child ranges from bad to cruel depending on the aversive used. Withholding rewards from the child, particularly when those rewards are food or other necessities, creates insecurity in the child. Further, by training a child in this way, the child becomes more vulnerable to victimization. When you are told by all the adults in your life that you must ignore your own pain and discomfort for the sake of adults, how is a child to know when they are being abused? How is a child to know that the adult touching them in that way is wrong when they are forced into hugs which are painful for them? 

You may have noticed that what was described here sounds an awful lot like dog training, and that’s because it is. ABA trains a child in the same way you would train an animal which is dehumanizing. Autistic children are not animals whose behavior should be crafted to suit those around them. Autistic children are unique individuals who need support and care. 

Finally, ABA therapy is often a full time job for the autistic child. Often, 40 hours a week or more of therapy is recommended for optimal results. It is ridiculous to put a child through such a strenuous routine. 

So what are you to do instead? Obviously you want to help your child live the best life possible which is wonderful. There are plenty of therapies that can be very helpful to autistic children. Speech therapy, which you’re already doing, can be great for children who are struggling with verbal speech, though methods of AAC should be provided until the child is able to communicate verbally (and even then, AAC should still be available for times when the child goes nonverbal/semiverbal). 

Occupational therapy to help with sensory integration or motor difficulties or other areas in which the child is struggling. There are also play-based therapies like floor time which can be very beneficial to autistic children. No matter which therapies you utilize to help your child there are a few things to keep in mind. 

First, therapy should be supplemental according to the child’s need rather than the central aspect of their life. If the therapy schedule would be exhausting for an adult, it’s not appropriate for the child. Next, does this therapy help the child live the best autistic life they can or does it focus on making the child appear to be “normal”? Normalization is for the benefit of parents while good therapy focuses on helping the child with things that the child finds problematic such as learning to cope with sensory issues or learning better communication (whether that’s verbal communication or AAC). 

So how do you figure out is what is being presented to you is true ABA or something else masquerading as ABA? There are some questions you can ask to help sort this out. First, though, we need to go over why there are therapies that aren’t ABA calling themselves ABA. In the US, most insurance plans will ONLY cover ABA for autistic children. As such, many therapists who perform other therapies have resorted to labeling themselves ABA in order to be covered by insurance. This allows them to work with children that otherwise wouldn’t be able to access these therapies. As such, what is being pushed for your child may not be true ABA. 

Here are some questions to ask:

  • What is the goal of the therapy? As we’ve discussed, ABA focuses on making the child “indistinguishable from peers” or normalization. If you hear that phrase, turn away and don’t look back. Even if the therapy isn’t ABA, the goal of making a child appear “normal” is not a useful goal for the child and can be detrimental. 
  • Does the therapy make use of rewards and aversives? We’ve discussed why aversives and rewards can be damaging to a child. A good therapy for your child will use other means to discourage harmful behavior. 
  • Does the therapy emphasize compliance? Compliance makes for a “well-behaved” child but does not lead to a healthy, independent adult (which I’m sure is what you’re hoping for in your child’s future). Therapies should focus on helping a child manage any harmful traits they have without forcing them to be compliant to an adults wishes. Just like all children, autistic children will not always be obedient or follow adults’ wishes. This is how it is supposed to be. Children need the space to make their own mistakes and learn and grow. Compliance teaches a child to shutdown their own needs and desires to fit the desires of another. 
  • Does this therapy discourage non-harmful behaviors? Autistic children will sometimes engage in behaviors that are harmful to themselves or others. These behaviors definitely need to be addressed and worked on. For instance, a child’s stims may physically hurt another person such as grabbing onto other people to stim. This behavior is not ok and a parent/therapist should work with the child to redirect the behavior. However, ABA often focuses on stopping behaviors that are not harmful. For instance, most stimming does not hurt anyone. It may be atypical behavior, but it generally does not hurt the child or anyone else. If a child is being bullied for their stims, that should be addressed with the school to change the harmful behavior of the other students rather than stopping the child from engaging in behaviors that are useful for self-regulation and expression. A good therapy will focus only on discouraging harmful behaviors. 
  • Are you allowed to observe the therapy as you please? In non-harmful therapies, you will generally be allowed to observe the therapy whenever you wish as they have nothing to hide. If a therapy will not allow you to observe what is being done, then it may be harmful to your child. However, even some therapies that are harmful may allow observation, so, when you do observe, make sure to really pay attention to how they treat your child. 

If the therapy being presented to you passes all of these questions, then it is not true ABA and could potentially be helpful for your child. As we’ve discussed, there are many therapies that can be beneficial to autistic children. Some useful goals of therapy could include:

  • Changing harmful behaviors- if a child is causing harm to themselves or others, the behavior needs to be addressed and the child should be provided with alternatives to help redirect the behavior. For instance, if a child is playing with their own poop, the child needs to be taught that this is unsanitary and provided with playdoh or other sensory tools to use to redirect the need for sensory input. Similarly, if the child hits others while melting down, one alternative may be providing the child with a pillow or stuffed animal to hit instead. 
  • Communication- While many therapies focus on speech, the true goal should be improved communication. This may include speech as a goal if that is within the child’s abilities, but it should also include forms of AAC to be used for communication either until the child is able to learn verbal speech or instead of verbal speech if speech is too difficult for the child. AAC can include letter boards, picture boards, text to speech apps, among others. Sign language can also be useful in facilitating communication. 
  • Managing Sensory Input- Many autistic children are hyposensitive and/or hypersensitive to sensory input. As such, it is important to teach the child ways to manage their sensory sensitivities. This may include managing their sensory diet by setting aside time for sensory play, use of sensory defenders like headphones/ear defenders/ear plugs, sunglasses, or other methods of regulating sensory input, and stimming as a method of regulating sensory input. 
  • Anything that causes the child distress- If a child is struggling in an area and it causes them distress, that is a good thing to work on in therapy. For instance, if the child is having frequent meltdowns, one of the goals of therapy should be to figure out why the child is having so many meltdowns and find ways to accommodate the child to prevent meltdowns. Similarly, if the child struggles with socializing with other children and is upset by this, social skills classes may be beneficial. If something is upsetting for the child, then it is likely a good goal for therapy. However, if the child is not bothered by something, therapy likely isn’t necessary (unless it is causing harm to the child or others).

So this got super long. I hope I’ve addressed everything you needed covered. If you have anymore questions, you are welcome to send me more asks or check out @autism-asks to get more info about autism. 

Finally, I’m going to leave you with some links that cover ABA from other perspectives:

I hope this helps you and your son! 

-Sabrina

anonymous asked:

So I have a character who learned how to use a longbow when she was a child to hunt. My question is two-tiered: one, in what ways would that impact her physical development; and two, would this help her if she needed to use a bow against people?

Strong shoulders, strong arms.

In all honesty, the bow is a weapon you build to as a hunter. The first weapon she’d have learned was the sling. More useful for small game, and you can be deadly accurate with it. The David versus Goliath story in the Bible isn’t actually a joke or overblown. A child taking down a grown adult with a rock and a sling is entirely plausible if said adult isn’t wearing a helmet. The sling is the weapon of children everywhere, shepherds and hunters. In many parts of the world, they still use it. It’s also better for small game. Katniss would’ve done better braining the squirrels with a sling rather than a bow, like children do.

As a child, she’d be trained on a child’s training bow and work her way up the different types of bows practicing on a single target. The longbow is a weapon that requires a fairly hefty amount of upper body strength to wield, and she’d have to work and train up into her early teens before she was allowed to use it for hunting. The amount of strength you can draw dictates how far the arrow flies and how deep it penetrates. Depth of penetration is important, as is how far the arrow flies. Both define how close you need to be to your target in order to be successful. Herbivores don’t stand around waiting for a predator to kill them, and carnivores might just decide turnabout is fair play.

So, most of her childhood was spent on dummy duty with her bow as she learned to clean and care for it. Learning to stand, and that’s a whole series of lessons. Learning how to string the bow, learning how to hold it, learning to draw before she was ever allowed to shoot.

What whoever was training her would set her on before that is the other skills, and she’d act as a gopher for them the way all apprentices do. Following behind the older hunter, carrying their equipment, watching them and acting under their direction. You can’t hunt if you can’t find game, and you can’t eat it if you can’t clean it.

Hunting comes with a necessary subset of skills which allow the hunter to work. They don’t just go out into the woods and kill shit then come back. It requires patience. It involves waiting in one place for an animal to come by, sometimes for days. Traps, tracking, reading sign, learning to move through the underbrush without disturbing it, hiding your scent, etc.

Your hunter will catch more food that they eat on the regular with snare traps set for rabbits and other small game than they will with the bigger game like deer. Bigger game takes more investment, more energy, and a lot more luck. There’s also a higher chance of injury.

There are plenty of herbivores that won’t go down quiet, deer included. If your hunter hits wrong and they sense/smell them, there’s always the chance they won’t run and will come right in after the hunter. Animals have “fight or flight” too, and a doe can gore you just as well with her hooves as a buck can with his antlers. Any poor soul chased up a tree by a moose or just gut checked by a horse can tell you, herbivores are assholes. On an unlucky day, they’ll kill you just as well as a carnivore and that’s if you can find them at all.

The chances of managing a “one hit kill” with an animal like a deer are low and, even if you land a killing blow, they’re not just going to fall over dead. You’ve got to be able to follow it, recover the body, and kill it as it lies there bleeding out on the ground if necessary. You’ve also got to have some way to carry it back. Then, there’s the risk you run with whether the herd animals will return to the same place or move somewhere else if too many of their number die. If they do, and they’re your primary source of food, then you’ve got to move with them. Nevermind that there are quite a few animals a bow is simply no good for, like bears and boars. Where you need other tools like dogs and spears.

Hunting is a complicated business, and it doesn’t come with any guarantees.

Now, those skills do translate over well on a certain level to dealing with humans. Though, it’s not the weapon skills so much as the other less flashy ones. Many scouts in medieval armies, for example, were hunters of one sort or another. As were the foragers tasked with feeding them. The ability to tell how many people passed, where they passed, and what they brought with them from the tracks left on the roads or in the hills was a valuable ability. The ability to move through the woods without being seen, to hide your passing, to tell who is breaking trail, and to find their camps was also helpful.

The Ranger class in DnD is built on the hunter. You want a character who has more in common with Aragorn than Katniss. Aragorn uses a bow, but it’s not his only weapon.

The reason for this is that the bow isn’t a great weapon for close quarters. More importantly, it takes time to prepare. You don’t travel with it strung, as that wears out the string. If the string is no longer taut when strung then you can’t fire the bow. You don’t travel with the wood left to the elements. It needs to be wrapped, and packed away. Constantly be oiled to maintain its elasticity/limberness so it can be drawn. A dried bow is a bow you can’t pull, no matter how strong you are. You also can’t get it wet. It’s a weapon which takes a lot of prep in order to be used, a lot of care, a lot of maintenance, more than average, and a lot of hard work.

When you’re in, say, a military or part of a raiding force that knows its attacking then that’s great. Or someone who is on watch for certain periods during the day and will be relieved by another, that also works. Or when you’re sitting alone in the woods waiting for an animal to come by. However, the necessary prep time a bow requires is a lot less helpful when you’re taken by surprise.

By the time you’ve taken it out, unwrapped it, strung it, you’re dead. The enemy was also probably too close for the bow to really be of help anyway. Its a weapon which requires distance. Awesome when you’re pegging people from the ramparts, halfway up a tree, or fifty to a hundred feet off. Less so when they’re standing over you, axe in hand. The traditional role of archers in a military structure is artillery, and not that different from how we use the modern one. Their purpose is bombardment, they soften up the enemy so the vanguard can break their lines and kill them.

There is one kind of single combat the bow is useful for: stalking.

The bow is a silent weapon, and when used in a hunter-stalker mode, can be terrifyingly effective. It’s a stealth weapon, meant for ghosting in and ghosting out as you pick your enemies off. However, this kind of combat requires a proactive mindset and a willingness to get your hands dirty.

It’s also vindictive and, from the perspective of most modern morals, it’s cruel.

Humans are no more lucky than animals when it comes to hunting. The bow is the slow death. No character, no matter their skill level, is going to be guaranteed clean kills. However, what they do get is debilitating blows. An arrow through an arm, a leg, or better a lung, is going to take enemies out of the fight and if they’re not dead yet then potentially another one with them. Harassment is the order of the day. The slow path of carving off opponents, damaging them so they can’t fight back, following as they try to run, before moving in for the kill.

It’s a predatory style of combat, it is (really) just hunting. Hunting humans instead of animals. The terrifying form of combat that haunts so many horror movies. It’s psychological warfare.

However, it’s the kind of combat that takes time, patience, and a strong stomach. It’s up to you to decide if that’s the kind of combat you envisioned for this character to participate in. Or the kind of story you want to tell.

People embrace the Predator and Lara Croft from Tomb Raider (2013), and countless others that have this particular combat style.

It might, however, behoove you to consider coming up with other weapons this character has familiarity with. From knives, to traps, to fishing lines, to other more improvised weapons built on the fly. This character has a range of options within their skillset, and there’s no need to stick to just one.

Also we have a bow tag, and an archery tag for past discussion on this subject.

-Michi

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anonymous asked:

Tell me more about the Paladin Training AU! What does the rest of the team think about golden boy Shiro, and how does this effect them when they form Voltron for the first time? Tell me more about the first time they decided training and dark history be damned, they're going to do this Voltron thing their way. Tell me about how the team decided THEIR Shiro, (not the Shiro conditioned by training, quiet and submissive before the command, but the Shiro who rebels and protects) is the one they 1/2

2/2 will follow till the end of days. Tell me how these strangers became the team that will save the universe.


(So I originally wrote this from Lance’s POV in tumblr and then lost all of it when my computer suddenly reset.  This version ended up better anyway.  It doesn’t answer a lot of your questions, but they also weren’t strangers in this AU.  They were raised together.  But here’s that story anyway.

Based on this original post)


The short of it was: nothing was the same since Zarkon betrayed them.

The short of it was: Hunk wished things could go back to how they’d been.

Those first few days right after had been terrifying.  The panic, the yelling, the strained atmosphere.  Hunk had wanted to stay in his room for it, but he wasn’t allowed to, and even if he was, Lance would have dragged him out.  For the longest time, they’d had no idea what anyone was talking about.  There were just clipped commands, being told to sit and wait and be good, while horrifying words like ‘rogue’ and ‘attack’ and ‘death toll’ were thrown around, just barely within hearing.

All of them had been put into one room and while they weren’t told not to leave, the implication was strong.  Immediately, Keith turned to Shiro, trying to get him to spill.  In hindsight, Hunk didn’t know why they’d all thought Shiro would know, except that he was older and he was going to be their leader someday, and he always helped with the answers to their nightly school work, so maybe he knew this too.

Shiro hadn’t.

“I’m sorry, I’m sure they’ll tell us soon,” he told them, hands up in placation, and at the time he hadn’t noticed, but when he thought back, Hunk thought Shiro looked just as scared as the rest of them.

That look only got stronger when one of their instructors burst in.  “Shiro,” he called, voice icy, and Shiro stared back, eyes wide.  Shiro always seemed so much older than them, but in that moment he’d been very young looking.  “You are to come with me.”

It wasn’t even an order.  It was a demand.  It was a threat.

“Just me?” Shiro asked, and ducked his head at the immediate glare.  “Yes, sir.”  Iverson’s hand clamped down on his upper arm, rough in a way none of them usually saw, as Paladins to be.

He was dragged away, and Shiro cast another wild look over his shoulder.  “I’ll be back soon,  Stay calm.”

Then he was gone.

(Read more below)

Keep reading

Each time we get a new live-action Batman, I’m perplexed as to why we never get a Robin. No, I don’t mean Chris O’Donnell reluctantly moving to Wayne Manor when it looks like he’s already 21 or older. I don’t mean Joseph Gordon Levitt inexplicably being referred to as Robin during the very last minutes of a trilogy. And I certainly don’t mean hints of a long-dead Robin, sacrificed as additional kindling to toss upon the pyre that is Bruce Wayne’s grief.

Why don’t we ever get eight-year-old Dick Grayson? Why can multiple animated series and comic book arcs introduce a young, vulnerable child into Batman’s life, can give him purpose and gravity in the narrative and allow him to develop into a partner and then a hero in his own right, while movies either avoid him entirely or warp him into something unrecognizable? People more familiar with Batman as a pop culture icon than a character with a long, established comic history tend to be those who dismiss Robin by claiming that Batman is an eternal loner. That we’re tarnishing his character by burdening him with a child sidekick, and that he must prowl the night in solitude or we’re denying the most essential parts of his persona.

Are you kidding me? Batman independently paid for the floating space clubhouse that his Justice League buddies meet in. He is instrumental in connecting the entire database of heroes that make up the DC universe. You’re threatened by the potential presence of Dick Grayson? Bruce—in precious canon!– has no less than five adopted/biological children: Dick, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Cassandra Cain, and Damian Wayne (and sometimes Helena Bertinelli). That’s not to mention the multiple young people he mentors: Barbara Gordon, Stephanie Brown, and Carrie Kelley in some continuities (and these same people will defend The Dark Knight Returns until their bitter deaths, so don’t you dare object to Carrie Kelley in the same damn breath).

I don’t think any other DC hero builds as large of an extended family as Batman constructs for himself. The Batfamily is legendary among the fanbase. Bruce loses his parents and he’s devastated and has obsessive and antisocial tendencies, sure. His gruffness is charming, even, but it’s a calculated presentation to conceal the brokenness at his heart. He seeks out troubled children to protect and guide again and again, because he doesn’t want them to develop his own self-destructive qualities. Everything that certain sectors of fandom glorify about Bruce, Bruce himself actively fights against seeing take root in any other vulnerable child. He trains them to serve Gotham City, but more importantly, he provides them with the stability to recover themselves from the brand of tragedy that shaped his own life. If you ask Bruce his greatest accomplishment, he’d say without hesitation, “Nightwing.”

If you think of Robin as a quippy sprite of a boy in bright colors and pixie boots, you’ve barely scratched the surface of what makes this character so important to the Batman mythos. He provides levity against Batman’s darkness, and it’s refreshing, sure. But he’s so essential to Bruce confronting his own trauma and development in being able to function as a team player—as an eventual member of the Justice League, which is a cornerstone of the upcoming films—that I honestly can’t wrap my brain around universes that exclude him. Dick’s presence forces Bruce to focus outside himself, and outside the single-mindedness of his mission. Batman needs Robin a lot more than Robin needs him, and the films consistently rob Bruce of one of the most significant bonds in his life.  

We have a new universe on the horizon, and the herald of a dead Robin before we even get started. I hope the DC films are satisfying and successful—truly, I do. But it makes me ask the same question I’ve had each time a Batman film has released during the last few decades: why are cinematic universes so threatened by the premise of a living child being a part of Batman’s world?