Carbone Clinic and ABA

Scotland is an uncomfortable place to come to promote the coercive cruelty, personal oppression, called Applied Behaviour Analysis.

On Mar 5, Carbone Clinic, a promoter of ABA, held a day workshop on it for kids, for around 30 folks, at Dalmahoy Country Club Hotel west of Edinburgh. But responsibility to the wellbeing of spectrumite kids made an impact on the host venue, who had made the booking unaware of the issue, and it allowed the protest action called by Autistic Inclusive Meets to take place at the hotel doorway in the arrivals period and inside the building later. That was impressively unfought exercise of in fact its due responsibility to child safety.

Autistic adults, who know from their and the collective experience what is wrong with forcing treatments that conflict with the treated person’s nature, stayed throughout the day and showed the participants that our message of ethical opposition is there.


Some of the facts shared in the protesters’ handout

Evidence for ABA programmes is overwhelmingly poor and considered low/very low (May 2018 Cochrane EIBI research review). No one has quality evidence to show that after thousands of hours and £100K’s those subjected to ABA have a better long term outcome (#ABAResearch on Twitter).

Issues with ABA have been blamed on bad therapusts, a “tricky” child, number of hours. But issues with ABA relate to coercion (lack of real choice), compliance, unnecessary overload, invalidation, rewarding masking (check out #TakeTheMaskOff campaign). Accounts of harm can no longer be ignored. Psychological wellbeing is out of the ABA equation. It breaches disability rights.

The Youtube video “Isabella 22 knock down drag out battle” was shared among UK ABAers as a good example, but looks like being abused.

Further info can be found: on the Madasbirds blog Apr 2017, Autistic UK website, Labour Party Neurodiversity Manifesto Appendix, Autistic Allies.

ABA teaches that children do right when rewarded, regardless of how meaningful, natural, or comfortzble to do so. They learn to ignore their own feelings, intuition, and to please people in positions of authority, so increasing vulnerability.

ABA is about changing observable measurable behaviour by trial and error until compliance is gained and the data shows the desired behaviour. ABA therapists use Functional Behavioural Analysis thinking this helps understand behaviour, but this just shows what the behaviour is seen to achieve (avoidance, access to something, attention, or internal reinforcement). This is very different to the “why” or root cause of the behaviour, usually due to anxiety, sensory, cognitive or other, e.g. due to EEG brain abnormalities.) In fact FBAs are pretty useless in practice.

The best way to understand autistic behaviour is to speak with autistic adults and read literature from autistic people all over the spectrum and autistic-led organisations. You will not spot ABAers doing this. Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBAs) even think going to chicken training camps is useful to learn how to better train autistic children (search BCBA Mary Barbera chicken training). Other ABAers think it is fine to talk about training animals and autistic people in the same breath (just google Tag Teach ABA Clicker training).

ABA is nothing to do with understanding autism or the internal autistic experience, and these are not needed for ABA certification or practice. ABA success is very narrowly defined.

No ABA is not regulated or standardised. There is NO UK regulation, NO recognised UK supervisory hody, NO complaints procedure, NO recognised UK ABA profession. In the USA the ABA Certifucation Board Code of Ethics is a free-for-all. An example of low standards used by BCBAs can be seen in Gudberg and Parson’s Dec 2017 scientific review that disctedited a NI government funded 3 year, 5 volume report by BCBA Dillenburger that recommended intensive ABA.

Simply search the #ActuallyAutistic hashtag to feel the weight of feeling against ABA in the autistic community. Our 2017 abacontroversyautism.wordpress article provides evidence that tens of thousands in the wider autistic community do not support ABA, nor did 98% of over 5K autistic respondents in a 2018 survey by Chris Bonello (Autistic not Weird).


record of a petition against Autism Speaks, 2008

The Autism Speaks: Don’t Speak For Me petition. This was posted on Spectrum Fairness 27 Mar 2008, but the link still leads to the site it came from:

We, the undersigned:

  • Utterly repudiate the notion of murder being an acceptable response to disability
  • Vehemently deny that most parents of autistic — or otherwise disabled — children harbour thoughts of murder
  • Testify that the false ‘reality’ concocted by Autism Speaks film ‘Autism Every Day’ is not a true reflection of the reality of parenting an autistic child
  • Call for a public apology from Lauren Thierry for increasing ignorance regarding autism

Patients’ Association

The Patients’ Association, certainly its Scottish branch, is ruthless, self-interested, + not interested a damn in the patients in whose name it exists.

When it is approached concerning corrupt warping of the procedures in the NHS complaints and Ombudsman systems,

the Patients’ Association’s chair will just say, sorry can’t help, you have tried all possibilties, nothing we can do. When she knows there is something she can do, she can expose what is going on. This can be done both on the Patients’ Association’s website and in all the representational material it produces at a general level on NHS patients’ behalf. But the PA’s response to being told this, + told it has an AUTOMATIC duty to do it or else is itself criminally culpable towards many people, is just to ignore it.

When an “advance statement” under the 2003 Mental Health Act is presented to the NHS, and contains declared information affecting every other person either presenting such a statement or using mental health systems, the information must be acted on. It is not enought just to file away the advance statement in the personal files of the person who wrote it. Because it is potentially evidence in every mental health case, it is a legal corruption of the case of everyone in the system unless that is done, which makes it an automatic duty. This is a description of the case the PA’s assistance in was applied for. Its reaction is a deliberate siding with suppression of facts. It is a criminal act towards all users of the mental health system.

Everyone thinking of trying the Patients’ Association, for anything, instead tell it you know of this + enquire as to how it explains a claim to be entitled to say no to exposing any, that’s any, corruption in health service procedures !!!

public libraries

AS means we can’t be expected to guess things, including rules, by instinct, right? Hence we can’t be held accountable to obey any rule without knowing it existed. Autism too.

Which being a biological fact about us, is also a fairer approach to everyone. As a principle, it would be a great advance in democracy. It would abolish all generally-worded rules and discretionary authority.

In public libraries, it means 3 things they have to observe or else they are perpetrating discrimination against us against all the international human rights structures! Because we can’t be distinguished by sight from the NT population, it means they have to apply these things to everyone!!

  • No library can enforce on any user a rule for which there is no display telling users it exists.
  • No library can have generally-worded rules that give discretion to staff to make up more specific rules moment to moment, that have no separate existence as specific rules.
  • No library ever has the power to decide or announce “We don’t approve of…” anything.

All it needs to establish these principles, as binding on every public library throughout the EU, is a single test case where a library breaks them.

This has now been provided, by Dalgety Bay library in Fife, Scotland. After a case there, Bob Izatt, head of Fife libraries, has replied to a notice of these public rights just by a reiteration of the present system, making no reference to AS at all. He simply stated that libraries have generally-worded rules and staff discretion, and claimed staff are trained to exercise it consistently. Which achieves not a shred towards library users knowing what to expect.

He is illegally blatantly testing his chances of pretending AS doesn’t exist. This in a county that for a while has been operating a “Roving Autism Resource Library” in partnership with a local group. His bad example can be cited by name all over the EU, and in any other country where human rights challenges are possible, as proof of systematic violations of minorities unless the opposite of what he wants happens, the 3 rights listed become recognised as applying to all users in all libraries.

Maurice Frank
9 Sep 2006

Sep 28: An attempt to rejoin Fife libraries on these terms as a precedent, and to ensure they stick, initially by means of circulating a notice of the precedent to the staff of a string of Fife libraries at once, is being made. Awaiting its results, good or bad.

Oct 19: The result is, predicatably, not satisfactory to the extent of actually getting further acknowledgement of the precedent out of Fife libraries, in response to said circulation. Take everything written before Sep 28 as standing, except only that Fife libraries require further challenge to actually acknowledge on explict record that they won’t break the precedent, that has been attained still only in theory.


not answered by Save The Children

Still not answered by Save The Children since Jun 29.

Maurice Frank
15 Jul 2006

Glad you sent me your latest supporter’s mag.

On page 4 there was an upsetting item about the child author Libby Rees becoming a backer for you. In publicising any child author, there is an act of mass child cruelty done unless a fact about child authors is AUTOMATICALLY referred to. You may well not have known the item, as it is unjustly little publicised, but you will know it now – see [linked to page then existing on Phad‘s site] – and this needs updating urgently in your next literature. The item is, that there exist wronged child authors, whose chance to complete books was ruined by adult abuses towards us. I’m one, and my case represents a whole missing generation of child authors after Lindsay Brown in 1978. I was covered as a child author with a sci-fi/relativity novel in progress, by 2 Welsh newspapers in 1980-2 when they were reporting on early O-level passes at my school. The first item was by the young Rod Liddle. But my chance to complete it and succeed like Libby was ruined by abusive school homework pressure, which would eventually reach breaking point and a crisis situation. The school, deservedly now closed, had the abusive stupidity to benefit from the public mention of my writing but then not give me enough spare time in my life to do it! and teachers believe they know best and give orders, they don’t allow the child to decide.

This is a crime of child ill-treatment and a deep wound. Given child authorship’s now apparent association with Asperger Syndrome, not saying they all have it, it’s even a medical wrong. As recently as the launch of an Asperger needs-survey project in Manchester 2 months ago, Aspect Action, I discovered a case of this school pressure happening to a child author RIGHT NOW.

Don’t you think wronged authorship is experienced worldwide by exactly the children wronged by poverty or wars who your work is full of? The crime upon all of us is worsened every time publicity of a child who WAS allowed to succeed does not mention wronged authors’ existence. So you urgently need to mention it in follow-up to your Libby item and in all the work you intend to do with her.

ETHICALLY towards children, you must not take an institutionally cynical position of wanting to prove for the sake of it that there is a discretionary choice over this. I have campaigning openings, as mentioned, to spead the word about that if it happens.

You would agree is right to put to anyone, simple obligations against child ill-treatment. Hence, you must not feel insulted to be told that the responsibility to publicise wronged child authors is UTTERLY AUTOMATIC. It is demonstrated truth to say on public record that any party who wants any discretionary choice over this to exist even in theory, or who changes the word “automatic” to any other word a shred less committal, commits culpable and potentially actionable child cruelty thereby.

You have not committed that because you likely didn’t know of the issue, and now you can do the right thing for a group of child victims.

FW: HMIE backed by The Labour Party Refuse To Issue Secret Report on Autistic Child. Executive Now Do What They Want, Parliament/People Are Now Irrelevant

Circulated at the request of David Cunningham, a frustrated parent in Scotland and Cross-Party Group member – site.

Attached is yet another of the hundreds of examples of the typical blocks and strategies being implemented by HMIe and Scottish Executive in preventing the parents of Scotland getting quality Education for their Special Need Children. This and the hundreds of other examples proves that there is systemic incompetence and cover up by the Scottish Executive and other bodies who are destroying Special Need Children and their families by colluding to protect themselves against basic challenge and questioning.

The MSP’s of Scotland have to see this as yet more evidence of the Council’s and other public bodies covering their tracks by implementing a Policy of zero disclosure. Problem is the Parents of Scotland are being told by their MSP’s that the Parliament is useless to prevent them doing what they want. I have examples from all over Scotland that prove that the Executive and Council’s are a law unto themselves and that they see the Parliament and it’s MSP’s as nothing more than an irritant to their separate decision making. I will leave the other parents/relatives/friends of Scotland to present their own points but present the following 3 factual examples that demonstrate the case that Parliament is being ignored and is a toothless talking shop:

1. HMIe carry out a secret, incompetently executed review on my son and then refuse to provide any terms of reference, don’t interview the parents, don’t interview the teachers and carer’s and mainly interview senior managers and budget holders. HMIe then refuse to issue the secret report to the parents while all the other government bodies and council has been provided with a copy of the report;

2.Marilyn Livingstone in response to my question as to why my Labour MSP wasn’t issuing letters and questions of her own to Fife Education stated …MSP’s are just really just Facilitators I really don’t know what you expect us (MSP’s) to do?

3. Murdo Fraser my hard working and caring MSP has said Dave, I really don’t know how long I can keep on requesting answers and information. There are clearly many issues and they don’t want to disclose them to me. I have even tried to use the Freedom of Information Act and well you can see what that’s achieved. Due to the time that your case is taking I am not sure that I will be able to keep devoting time to David’s case. There’s not much more that I can do. What follows are now my words. Murdo has been ignored and as a caring MSP has been treated despicably by the Public Bodies. His numerous brave attempts for disclosure has achieved absolutely nothing but an increased collusion between HMIe, Scottish Executive and Fife Council.

A serious question must now be asked.

The Scottish Parliament under Labour are allowing an incompetent Executive and Council to spent the Tax Payers Money doing what they want, when they want. However worse of all The Parliament are Powerless to act against them. In addition MSP’s who do try and get answers are branded as troublemakers. But worse of all the Executive and Councils string them along to the point that the MSP is forced and systematically pressured to give up on the children and families that they represent. The blame for this has to be put at the door of the Labour Party.

Scotland where the Scottish Executive and Councils laugh, scorn and ignore the People of Scotland.

The people of Scotland now know where the real power lives and it isn’t in the Parliament. I am distributing this e-mail all over Scotland and the World, I suggest you do as well.

Dave Cunningham Parent of a typical disabled and sick child who has had services, budgets and justice stripped away by the Labour Party, Scottish Executive and Councils.
27 May 2006

notice for wronged child authors to the Adora Svitak machine

An 8-year-old manic writer in Seattle, US, Adora Svitak, has emerged as the focus of an international campaign whose like has no precedent, to promote child authorship. It all looks very slickly managed in the typical style of US business PR.

That will be fine as long as it shows responsiveness to ordinary personal justice. That is now being sought:

Here is a copy of a message sent on Feb 23 through the website’s [now disappeared] interactive page. (Under “Ask Adora” then “Schools & Libraries”.) Also copied to Charles Faulkner, of Aultbea Publishing who published Libby Rees, and Viv Bird, director of Reading Is Fundamental a literacy trust in the US. Both had spoken in the Observer Feb 19 in support of an imminently projected British tour by Adora Svitak. Both carry the same responsibility as her own publicity machine does, to be moral, which means: to make this

great opening for forcing mass public awareness of the

child authors,
rather than to be just something “professional” and remote.
The move made towards them was conciliatory and it was put on this site assuming the best about them. Now that there is nothing obtained from them over a significant time, they must begin to be considered disturbing.


I find it extraordinary that you actually have a section inviting schools to seek advice on encouraging child authorship.

A whole stolen generation of child authors have had the rest of our lives deeply wounded and abused, by schools. By homework pressure destroying our chance to be child authors. Not leaving us enough spare time to finish books.

As soon as any parties publicising a child author know about this obscene crime, it becomes a CITABLE AUTOMATIC duty to child protection for you to publicise the fact that wronged child authors exist. You just have to mention it alongside your publicising of your luckier child author. It becomes an act of cruelty to other children not to do that.

The stolen generation period is 1978-2001. My luck that it was exactly the last child author to emerge before the stolen generation, Lindsay Brown, who inspired me to be one. Because the gifted children movement got a local newspaper fuss made of me for other reasons and my child authorship mentioned along with it while the book was still incomplete, in 1980, before abuse at school ruined its completion, I am historical evidence of the stolen generation. I can serve on behalf of recognition rights for them all. Have you thought of the ones whose countries just weren’t democracies when they were children: I can be the stepping stone for their recognition too.

I have Asperger Syndrome, which is associated with a mind focused towards writing: thus Luke Jackson and Kenneth Hall. [Links to the Phad article and the Scottish parliament autism Cross-Party Group minutes for 27 Nov 2003 and 2 Feb 2005.]

Do you have any contacts in Britain who would like to support my placard protest, on March 8, 6:45 pm, outside the Strathclyde Hilton Hotel at Bellshill near Glasgow, while Luke Jackson’s mother Jacqui is speaking inside? The protest is not against her, it does not prejudge her at all, it is against the organisers of her speaking tours (Centre For Development of Autism Practice) ignoring this issue. Wronged child authors should be mentioned by the Jackson family every time.

Not being in America, I have discovered you from a blog comment made in response to the recent case of Libby Rees here. It seems obvious that since 2001, and thanks at first to writings about health conditions, there has been a massive breakthrough for the idea of child authorship and it has suddenly become fashionable to an intensity never known before. This after hardly existing at all for over 20 years. I seek your concerned action on speaking out about wronged child authors and giving our fight for recognition a loud place in this bandwagon.

Maurice Frank (address)
23 Feb 2006