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What Pathologising autism looks like | I am Cadence

A picture of very small, colourful toys lines up neatly and artistically in a meandering line that winds around chair legs, the bottom of a dresser, and across the floor before curling into a a large spiral circle and continuing off picture.

Text reads: WHAT PATHOLOGISING AUTISM LOOKS LIKE: Four groups were presented this image of 10 year old Cadence’s creation, over 380 comments were received from the groups. This is a summary of those responses.

Group 1: (Mums Group of Typically Developing Children)


•”Gorgeous colours”

•”A piece of art”

•”Love it, it reminds me of a 3D zen tangle”

•”What a great display of patience”

Group 2: (Neurotypical Led Support Group For Parents Of Autistic Children)

•”It’s sad they don’t know how to play”

•”My kid does this too, it’s so frustrating”

•”Yep, my kid is always making a mess too”

Group 3: (Autistic Led Support Group For Parents Of Autistic Children)

•”Wow, that’s a kid with a lot of determination”


•”I just love the creativity”

•”So beautiful and artistic”

Group 4: (Professionals Led Autism Education Group)

•”ADA and RDI can help with developing more appropriate play skills”

•”I would use the interest in the toys to direct mutual attention and unwanted behaviour” [/end image description]

LET AUTISTIC KIDS BE AUTISTIC! Things like ABA are outright abuse. They literally use abuse tactics in order to traumatize autistic children into acting neurotypical. It does not make them neurotypical and these autistic kids will grow up to be traumatized autistic adults

If you want to know how traumatizing and abusive ABA is; the pioneer of ABA, Ole Ivar Loovas, cut his teeth on designing gay conversion therapy tactics which he then applied to ABA

The things that make LGBT+ conversion so horrifying: electroshock treatments, psychological tortures like withholding kindness, physical affection, negative reinforcement, administering aversive stimuli, corporal/physical punishment, and isolation among other things, is the same kind of shit they’re doing to kids in ABA

Comments from various Social Media

This one hit me like a million bricks. My son is autistic and his psychologist says the same shit group 4 does. They cannot see him beyond that lens and it angers me to no end.

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