i really want to talk to someone!

BTS reaction to their struggling new Maknae

requested by anon 

Seokjin

Jin has a lot of experience dealing with the other members and helping them, so it would be very natural to him. You could come to him if there’s something you want to talk about or if you just need a dad joke to feel better.

“Let’s play some Mario Kart. That’ll help you get your mind off of things.”

Originally posted by rapdaegu

Yoongi

Yoongi being the secretly kindhearted grandpa that he is would listen to all your problems and give you really good and constructive advice. He would probably also sneak you some candy and hug you.

“You can come to me when you need someone to talk to. Just don’t tell anyone I’m being nice.”

Originally posted by sugagifs

Namjoon

Joonie always has an open door for every member. He would listen to you and do everything in his power to help. Be it stage fright or a fight with another member. He would be the most analytical and would really try and help you find a solution to your problem.

“I’m your leader. I’m supposed to take care of you. Please don’t hesitate and come to me.”

Originally posted by fyeahbangtaned

Hoseok

Hoseok would share stories about his family with you when you get homesick. He would also encourage you to tell stories about your family to cheer you up. He would ask about fun stuff you do with your family and laugh with you until it’s better.

“We are all sad from time to time. But when it gets bad, just remember that you have all of us. We all miss our families, but we are family now too.”

Originally posted by myloveseokjin

Jimin

Jimin would be an excellent listener. He would let you talk until you let it all out and assure you that you always have someone to go to. He would also freely offer to hug or hold you.

“Just know that we all love you and that you can always come to me when you can’t sleep again. I’ll have always room for you.”

Originally posted by jikookshandshake

Taehyung

Taehyung would be very concerned about your health and happiness as the new maknae and would make sure you rest enough when you get sick and that you have someone to talk to. 

“No ideal body or concept is worth you suffering. When you are hungry please eat and when you are tired please rest. Lean on me when you need to. We all want the best for you and each other.”

Originally posted by sgfgdolans

Jeongguk

Kookie would be the best at understanding your struggles as the former maknae. He would be able to give you the best advice and understand the expectation you face. He would also try and cheer you up with some Overwatch or a movie marathon.

“I know that it isn’t easy. But this is what you always wanted. Jus keep positive attitude.”

Originally posted by jiminboi

-Admin Krümmel

I WANT TRANS BUDDIES. People on the internet are always like “oh my trans friends do this” and “oh my trans friends do that”. I want trans buddies to be trans with. Like, not because they are trans but just to be friends and then we can relate to each other really well? I guess? Does anyone understand what I’m trying to say here?? I don’t have anyone to talk to about say… phalloplasty.. without them being like “can you get an erectile device even though you don’t want one so I can play with your dick?” No joke that actually happened. But I also want friends to talk to about dogs and star trek and power rangers and just… life. Does any of this make sense? Just… people I can relate to on more than one level; gender but also interests. I want someone who can go with me to get liposuction on my hips. Is it weird that I want that? I don’t know anyone else, who is apart of my life, that is trans, that I can relate to. This is probably hopeless… but I have kik and skype and viber and line and disney mix and all of that nonsense if anyone’s interested in maybe having a friend. Maybe we can end up creating one big trans buddy chat thing? Ah well whatever

anonymous asked:

felix felicis and javid??? just thought it might be an interesting concept!!

Okay I know they cancelled the Triwizard Tournament after Cedric died so either pretend they didn’t or pretend this is the same Ball as that one, idk….


“It’s in two days, Davey, you gotta ask someone,” Sarah reasoned.

Davey childishly put his hands over his ears. He really, really didn’t want to hear about how he didn’t have a date to the Yule Ball yet. It was the talk of Hogwarts and he wasn’t allowed to forget it.

Sarah knew there was someone in particular he wanted to ask and she was determined for her little brother to have a great evening, which he definitely wouldn’t be doing if he was sat moping around for the duration of the ball. She wasn’t about to let him stare at Jack all evening without so much as asking him for a dance, and asking him would be far easier if they went together in the first place.

“Who are you going with then?” he asked, trying to make a point. As far as he was aware she didn’t have a date either.

Sarah just laughed. “Katherine Plumber.”
“You’re taking the head girl?!” Davey asked, surprised.

Shrugging it off like it wasn’t a big deal, Sarah forced the conversation back to her brother.

“Ask him, Davey. You know he hasn’t got anyone to go with yet – maybe he’s waiting for the right person…”

Keep reading

i’m not sure if anyone else has pointed this out

in “i can’t even: geek week special”, has anyone else noticed dnp’s reactions to the “in 2022, who was best man at dan and phil’s wedding?” question?


i was thinking about it so i watched back through the video and caught screenshots of the

dan’s reaction, shown first, is laughing. it ends up making him laugh really hard. since it was 2013, he was probably brushing it off (unlike now, where he’d prob talk about it; or tell us to not delve into it)

phil’s reaction is somewhat blushy but loving. it’s love eyes lester back at it again. he does do a little laugh. but dam kid, i bet his heart was pounding. in embarrassment and tenderness

granted i could be analyzing these all wrong 

probably to where i bet someone will call me gross or a ‘demon phannie’

which idc i’ll deal with it. but i just wanted to mention it 

Holy shit I’m taking the Bar tomorrow

I’m done with studying for basically the rest of my life, and tomorrow (essays) and Wednesday (multiple choice) will test me on 15 subjects about federal, California, and common law.  I really wanted to take a minute to thank my internet friendsies for literally saving me during this summer of stress and hell.

First, @starbucksandpearls is taking the Bar tomorrow in a different timezone and I know she’s going to crush it just like I will.  Rachel, I am beyond grateful for having ‘me but east’ in solidarity through all the Barbri nonsense.  You’re a badass and you’re gonna be a great lawyer <3

Huge thanks to @ralphsmotorbike for being such a great supporter all through my years in law school.  It’s wonderful to get to talk to someone on the other side and get that reassurance.

To my “real life” friends @christinebaranski and @comepraisetheinfanta I could not have done this without texting you guys, talking about shows and music and life and hilarity.  Nothing perks up my sad study mood like getting messages from you.  And I’m excited to see each of you within the next couple weeks YAY!

@thatsafulllid and @captainevans, I cannot tell you what a comfort it is to have you guys check in on me and wish me luck and strength, even when we’re talking about something completely unrelated.  I’m so lucky to have such lovely friends who care about what I’m doing and how I’m feeling.

Special shoutout to my new DBM squad, especially @disturbingclarity, @olafurneal, @hikerlady, @fabulouslyphryne, @justcira and @seven-dragons for creating awesome content and for reviewing all my stories (which I have somehow gotten around to writing after 5-10 hours of studying every single day for the past two months).  The beautiful perfect distraction that is our Jean and Lucien have kept me sane.  And a very special nod to @marcuskaen who I’ve only been talking to for two weeks (!!) but it feels like forever.  Melanie, getting to chat with you throughout the day and evening has been such a saving grace.  You’re great, and I’m glad we’re friends.

And finally, @aboxfullofdarkness is the number one person I go to for any and all things.  Amy, my twinsie, you’ve been my greatest cheerleader and support system for like 5 years, and these last couple of months, you’ve gone above and beyond what I deserve.  Thank you for all the love and distraction, for letting me vent and headcanon, and for just being the most wonderful source of comfort always.

I need someone to translate my President for me.  Can someone please explain exactly why and how Trump and Republicans think the Affordable Care Act is death?  Is it because premiums have gone up?  What happened to those families that were standing behind him while he talks about how awful the ACA is?  What is a “victim” of the ACA?  I really want to understand what is happening.

I know someone who has been struggling with insurance bought on an ACA exchange—computer systems dropping their coverage for stretches of time, randomly sending letters denying them financial assistance despite no change in income—but the problems he and his family are having are not a symptom of a system that is working poorly across the board, rather a system that still needs ironing out.  They have health insurance.  More people and children have health insurance.  

Isn’t it better for more Americans to have health insurance than for it to be less expensive for some?

cutiematsuno  asked:

Hello Harold! May I ask how you and Billy met?

It started when George noticed I had a crush.

GEROGE: I’d say it was more than a crush. You scribbled all over the rough draft.

HAROLD: At least it was the rough draft!

It only got worse after that. I’ve only passed Billy in hallways and stared at the back of his head in class. George says that it was worse than I remember it being. I was just too shy to talk to him so I did what anyone else would do.

Stare longingly until someone made a move.

That person was George when we were sitting down for lunch.

GEORGE: By the way, I invited a friend. He should be here any minute.

HAROLD: Which friend?

GEORGE: Billy.

But as it turns out not everything was a disaster. I found out that he thought I was really cool and always wanted to be my friend. After that, we exchanged numbers and… You know the rest.

anonymous asked:

hey pops, my best friend is moving away on friday and i really want to be there for her when she leaves, but she has best friends that are closer to her than me, even though i've known her for nine years, and they'll be there for her instead of me. she doesn't talk much to me anyways and i don't have any guts to start a conversation, so we fell out of talking. i really want to be there for her, but i feel like i'd just be out of place. what do i do, dad?

Even if you don’t talk much these days, it’s still comforting to know that she has someone out there, ready to be there for her. You should definitely go forth and be there for her. Say hello and reminisce for awhile about all the good things you two have gone through together. I’m sure she’ll appreciate it. 

I think it’s very sweet of you to want to be there, by the way. :)

- Dad Michalis. 

PSA to my followers.

Do you have a blog you’re really happy with? Do you reblog stuff you think I’d like? Do you just wanna be a mutual and chill and stuff?

Like this, seriously I’m happy to follow people. Happy to make friends. So like this if you want me to follow your blog if I already don’t.

Wanna chat? i’ll chat
Need advice? i’ll try
Art stuff? heck yeah
Ocs? Gimme that so I can gush over them.

Seriously whoever you are, come at me because there are many interesting and lovely people out there that fall off the radar and it’d be nice to get to know you/

anonymous asked:

Dude you are awesome but you get offended when someone talks things about you but when you do that its alright you're a hypocrite, I get you dont like lili and cole but dont be like that and go saying its a joke you know lili has mental problems (what i heard and read) right? They probably get hate everyday because of things they do and you should know more than anyone how that feels. I know i never had it as heated as you but it really sucks. I just wanted to clarify that and keep your head up.

I don’t get offended when people talk shit on me. As long as they have some well backed up claims on WHY they hate me.
And lilis mental problems are common.
I have anxiety, ADHD, previous depression, minor Tourette’s, OCD, and I’m on the spectrum (granted not that much but I’m still there) and I’m not saying that for pity or compliments. I accept who I am and I love who I am. celebrities should have tough enough skin to ignore me, some 16 year old who runs a damn Tumblr blog. Don’t go defending a celebrity with millions of fans just because some teenager with mere thousands said something a lil mean.

anonymous asked:

i had a bad anxiety attack the other night and today ig my depression and anxiety decided to take a vacation and i read 400 pages did 9 pages of math and corrected it and i listened to a 2 hour musical without zoning out i would be so fcuking powerful if i didnt have depression sorry im really proud of myself nd i wanted to share

im so fuckign proud of u nonnie :’)) this made me happy too fuck i hope u have many many more good days like this i’m always here if u feel shit and want someone to talk to okay i’ll listen im proud of u thank u for telling me this <3

Reader’s choice: faster updates, but no illustrations OR slower updates with illustrations?

I’m fine with either, but do you want the art with each chapter at the cost of it taking a bit longer or are you CRAVING THAT WRITTEN WORD? lol Because most of “My Sunshine” is done and could be posted this week, “Wake Up” is plotted out and half-written, and “Roller Ghosters” is the only one not completely outlined.

I really have to get these things beta’d too… Please, someone beta read these hot messes. lol

Originally posted by bootsoftheforest

In relation to my last post:

I want a selective mute Eggsy thread where because of his past, he doesn’t talk much. It’s somewhat like a literal - “I ain’t grassing anyone.” give me someone who would learn about him and show him that they care about him. Give me someone who would take the time to learn sign language for him - without knowing Eggsy can speak. Give me someone who was completely betrayed when they learn Eggsy can speak. But also feeling extremely pleased when they realised they are special.Give me someone who becomes surprised and pleased to hear Eggsy laughing. The small giggles that the lad releases in their presence. Give me someone who eventually hears little phrases from Eggsy - and realises that Eggsy has an amazing voice. Give me someone who Eggsy is willing to sing to them, not just talk to them.Essentially, give me selective mute Eggsy who learns to love and trust more.

anonymous asked:

Help: I think I might be in love with my boyfriend but it's only been three weeks and I really don't want to say it first because I'm worried I'll scare him off. But we always compliment each other back and forth for hours and my brain keeps screaming 'I love you!' over and over when we talk

I can’t help too much because I’m not one to judge like when is too soon for loving someone. I guess it kind of depends on how long you’ve know them too ?? Idk. My roommate knew her boyfriend a few months or so before dating and they were really close friends, they said they loved each other like the week after they started dating. I’m not sure how it all works, tbh. I always just assume you get this feel™ and you’re like oh my god I love you. Idk tho. Not an expert, and maybe my roommate wasn’t the best example 😅

We talk a lot about Yuuri having to reconcile his idea of Viktor with the real Viktor–that is, Yuuri has this flawless, wonderful ideal of Viktor in his head which has to sort of be cut down to fit the person that Viktor really is. Which is a healthy part of their relationship, and which I completely agree is something Yuuri has to face at some point during that first summer.

But I think there’s also something to be said about Yuuri realizing that some of the horrible things he’s heard about Viktor through the skating community grapevine are not so true.

Yuuri, despite what he says, is much closer to is idol than most people ever get. If Viktor is a movie star, Yuuri is the secondary character–he’s there, and a lot of people definitely know he’s there, and he knows enough people who also know Viktor for the gossip mill to really get churnin sometimes.

I also think that at the back of every person who has ever had a celebrity crush’s mind is a little voice saying, “Never meet your heroes,” and Yuuri Katsuki is terrified of that little voice, and it contributes to the distance he keeps from Viktor–because at some point, that much distance from someone you’re facing off against in international competitions has got to be just a little bit purposeful.

So cue Viktor coming into his life all of a sudden one day, and all Yuuri can think about are the terrible awful no good very bad things people have told him about Viktor and the kind of person Viktor is.

“Fuck Viktor Nikiforov,” an older skater had told him after Skate America, six glasses into a box of wine and bitter as hell about missing the podium. “No, really, fuck him. The Russians are paying off the ISU to keep him at the top. He isn’t even that talented. I hear–I hear he doesn’t even train. I hear he just shows up and fucking does whatever and they give him gold because he’s Viktor Nikiforov.”

“I…don’t think…” Yuuri frowned at his own glass of wine. “I mean…that couldn’t be true.” He glances at Phichit next to him. “Could it?”

“Sour grapes,” Phichit advises, and Yuuri isn’t as familiar with English idioms at that point, so he thinks Phichit is talking about the wine.

Yuuri mostly forgets about it, but somewhere in the back of his mind–he can’t stop thinking about it. He watches and rewatches Viktor’s old programs and wonders to himself if the reason he thinks they’re so good is because he’s watching them through rose-tinted glasses.

Yuuri and Phichit are suffering through finals and trying to survive through twenty-hour days of nothing but studying and skating. They lay themselves on the bleachers one afternoon while they’re supposed to be doing warm ups.

“What if I just quit school and became and underwater basket weaver,” Yuuri mumbles directly into the metal seat of the bleacher. “That would be fine, right?”

“WWVND,” Phichit replies. “What Would Viktor Nikiforov Do.”

“You’re right,” Yuuri sighs.

“Viktor Nikiforov is dumber than a box of rocks,” says of the other members of the club as she skates by. “You know he never even finished high school? I mean, what counts as high school in a country like Russia. The guy probably thinks two plus two equals borscht.”

“That’s not…” Yuuri smushes his nose against the bleacher. “Hey, that’s not…”

“FUCK OFF OLIVIA,” Phichit shrieks across the rink, and Celestino definitely hears. They have to do twenty minutes of line drills. 

“What Would Viktor Nikiforov Do, right boys?” asks Olivia as she watches Yuuri try not to heave after Celestino finally releases them from their Sisyphean torture.

“I’m gonna fucking kill her,” Phichit says, and he sounds so deeply serious that Yuuri is sincerely worried.

Several weeks later, someone mentions Viktor within earshot of Phichit and he jokingly says, “Watch what you say, that’s Yuuri’s future husband you’re talking about,” and it sort of makes Yuuri want to hit him but mostly makes Yuuri blush.

“Really?” replies that someone. “I don’t know about that, Yuuri. I wouldn’t touch that guy with a thirty foot pole. He sleeps around. Probably has all kinds of nasty stuff going on down there.”

“Oh, whatever,” Phichit says, rolling his eyes. “Like you would know.”

Yuuri ducks his head back into his book and tries not to think about it.

These are the things that Yuuri holds in the back of his mind about Viktor, the worries that travel with him anywhere he has even the chance of encountering Viktor Nikiforov. 

‘Never meet your heroes’ becomes something of the unspoken mantra of Yuuri’s life. 

Then Viktor Nikiforov catapults himself straight into Yuuri’s lap, and Yuuri learns a few things.

Viktor trains. Viktor trains hard. Viktor has neglected everything but training and skating and satisfying his own frantic need to be the best for twenty years. Viktor Nikiforov is a lonely, sad bookworm with one friend and a gaping, yearning need to be touched–and he did not get to be where he is without making sacrifices. 

Yuuri has never met anyone who made more sacrifices for this sport and this art than Viktor Nikiforov. It opens something up inside of him, throbbing and raw. It makes Yuuri want to take Viktor’s heart and shove it inside his own chest so that it never feels cold or lonely again. It makes him want to stand on the top of a tall building somewhere and scream fuck you to every person he’s encountered whose jealousy tried to convince him that this man was less than what he is.

And yes, Yuuri knows now that Viktor is forgetful and brutally honest and often doesn’t say the right thing at the right time.

He knows that Viktor is only ambidextrous in that he can use a fork with both hands and that it takes him twenty minutes in the morning to decide on a shirt to wear. He knows that Viktor Nikiforov is a blanket hog and that if Yuuri wants to wake up still covered in the morning, they have to have no less than three blankets on the bed at all times.

He knows that Viktor sometimes descends into these loops of manic energy where he wants to do everything and can’t sit still and in those moments, Yuuri wants to lock him in a room and leave him there until he starts making sense again.

He also knows that Viktor Nikiforov has the most genuinely beautiful soul that Yuuri has ever had the opportunity to touch. He knows that very few people in his life will ever love him like Viktor, and that he himself has never felt for anyone quite what he feels for this man. His man. 

He knows these things and he thinks that maybe Viktor is perfect after all, perfect in his imperfection. Every jagged edge of his fits into one of Yuuri’s, and every curve of Yuuri’s lovingly presses flush with Viktor’s until they fit together seamlessly, like a pair of puzzle pieces.

Yuuri is also still a very petty person on the inside, though–which is why he makes posts on Instagram that read things like Viktor received his sixth well-deserved Russian National gold today! Congratulations to my amazing fiance.

And also:

So proud of my husband for all of his hard work commentating at the #Olympics. Some people go to school for half their lives and aren’t half as articulate as my Vitya. #Proudhubby

After that last one, Phichit leaves a voicemail on Yuuri’s phone that is literally just two whole minutes of him laughing hysterically and then wheezing, “THE SALT!” before hanging up.

“Yuuri, why did Phichit just sent me…sixteen crying laughing emojis and a text that says ‘your husband I can’t,’ in all caps?”

“Because a lot of people tried telling me you weren’t perfect and I’m proving them wrong,” Yuuri replies, not even looking up from his phone.

“Oh,” Viktor says, and literally crawls on top of him.

Yuuri supposes that the moral of the story is that the heart wants what the heart wants, and you have to find perfection in the imperfections–Viktor is loud and ditzy and forgets the English word for tomato on an almost daily basis, but he’s Yuuri’s husband. And because he’s Yuuri’s husband, he’s perfect.

Waiting for someone

At some conventions there are artist-related events because literally every nerdy fandom attracts a number of artists in various stages of aspiration. One such event at Indy Pop Con was the Drink ‘n’ Draw- where we all met up at Scotty’s for brews and had a drawing session. 

I didn’t really read the blurb, I just kind of wanted to hang out with other artists and talk about cats. So I did certainly not know that it was a competition- first prize gets a free artist’s table at next year’s show. Runners up get a bag of goodies with a sketch book and some nice pens. Judge faves get a sketch commission.

Now I am not a competitive person. Like… I’ll participate in friendly competition if it’s a thing I like doing, but I’m not in it to win it. So I was just like… pff whatever, I’ll make someone else look good. 

But you have to adhere to a theme. And this year’s theme was ‘The Last Battle.’

And it could be anything you want within that theme. Mostly they were looking at things like storytelling, composition, and technique. 

I wasted about fifteen minutes of the hour and a half that we had, trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I’m awful at open-ended themes all the time and I mentally rattled off a list of subjects that would be good to work with before I finally landed on one that I wanted to do. 

Barney the Purple Dinosaur. 

And I know what you’re thinking:

“What?”

But literally every kid I know grew up twisting the theme song to Barney and turning it into some morbid collection of ways to end the dinosaur’s reign of terror and all of them involved tying him to a tree. 

‘With a knife in his back and a gun to his head-

Woopsie-daisy, Barney’s dead.’

And I figured like… since I’m not really here to win, I’m at least gonna have a good time. So I skipped past the pencil stage and went straight for the sharpies and went to town on this piece of paper. 

And I was not gonna hold back. 

With ten minutes left, the event runner walks by my table and has this ‘what in the fuck is this’ look on his face.

“You know… like in the song?”

“…what song?”

Okay so this is the first person I have met in my life that has not indulged in the honored past-time of recounting the Death of Barney through song. So I start singing the song and he’s still just a wee bit perturbed. 

He walks away, shaking his head, but he’s definitely amused by it. 

Time is up, drawings are in. 

I’m just chillin’ over in my corner with a Pepsi and one of the other artists at my table keeps eyeing the judges because she came to WIN.  She nudges me and she’s like “they keep looking at yours, man.”

“They’re probably trying to dry it off because I spilled Pepsi on it.”

“I dunno… they look intrigued.”

Intrigued is an… intriguing word to describe the faces they were making at my hot mess of a doodle. 

The winners have been decided. 

They get through their personal faves and start listing the runners up. The artist that was checking the judge reactions got one of the judge’s favorites prizes. My girlfriend gets a runner-up for hers. They get to the last one of the runners-up and say:

“Okay, this one came REALLY close.” He holds up a drawing. “Who did this one?”

My hand shot straight up.

“Is that… is that BARNEY?”

“OH GOD WHY?”

“What the fuck?”

I am SHOCKED at this point because what kind of a childhood did y’all have? A fucking nurturing one? “Come on guys, it’s like that song. You know… tie barney to a tree…”

No?

Nothing?

Come on!

So that’s how I won a free sketchbook and came to be known as the chick that ruined everyone’s childhood at Drink’ n’ Draw. 

And I suspect I might have actually won the table if I’d made it clearer that the shadowy figure walking off into the sunset is Baby Bop. 

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