When Autism: Challenging Behaviour was first broadcast on BBC Four on Tuesday 5th November 2013, it opened up the idea of using Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) as a therapy which could help autistic children to improve their developmental skills through intensive support and praise.
By focussing on the work that is done at Treetops School, a state school in Grays, Essex which is run as a day special school for children and young people with moderate to severe learning difficulties, and also on the work of Gunnar Frederiksen, an ABA consultant in Sweden, the documentary showed how ABA can help or hinder an autistic person through focussing on three case studies.
The results on screen for three-year-old Jack and four-year-old Jeremiah were positive to see from their care at Treetops, though 16-year-old Richard seemed profoundly affected by the therapy he received as a child from Gunnar. This provoked a positive and negative response, even though views were not shared at the time of writing What is ABA, and is it a help or a hinderance? by anybody directly linked with ABA at Treetops or with Gunnar himself. Continue reading