There are Laws Protecting Children from Working too Much but what about Disabled Kids in Too Much Therapy?




There are laws protecting children pertaining to how long they work, at what age and if it is during school hours or on school days. The same rules should apply to disabled children being put in therapies. There are some children who are in some therapies for more than 40 hours a week! 

Besides ABA being abusive, the average child in ABA does this therapy for 40 hours per week. If an adult works over 40 hours per week, they are paid overtime. This is how it is in the United States. A child under the age of 18 cannot work for more than 30 hours a week, legally. The specifics of the child labor laws are different from state to state. 

Child Labor Restrictions in Florida

  • No child is allowed to work more than 6 consecutive days in one week
  • Children must take a 30 minute uninterrupted break after working for 4 hours
  • no child under the age of 14 is permitted to work
  • Children who are 14 and 15 years old are not permitted to work during school hours at all
    • Only permitted to work 15 hours per week
    • Not permitted to work before 7am or after 7pm on school days or a day before school
    • Not permitted to work more than 3 hours on school days and when a school day is the next day
    • May work 8 hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and on non school days when a school day does not follow up to 9pm
  • Children 16 and 17 years old  may work up to 30 hours per week
    • Not before 6:30 am or later than 11pm. 
    • Not permitted to work more than 8 hours per day when school is the following day. 
    • On days where there is no school and school is not on the following day, there is no hour restriction

Children in ABA

According to the Lovaas Institute, children from the age of 2 need 40 hours of ABA a week. They say that they need 40 hours to be successful. "The best outcomes have been attained when a child receives 40 hours per week of behavioral treatment.  . . 40 hours per week remains the standard from which to deviate." The children does not receive breaks, they do not allow for stimming, they are made to behave like a neurotypical. Imagine being made to sit in one chair for 8 hours. My Experience

To those who do not know better what ABA is, this would sound reasonable because they are experts. Substitute the word ABA for work per week. Putting a 3 year old child in employment for 40 hours per week, it sounds horrific. Its even be illegal. 

It is just like having a child in a full time job. Instead of being paid, these children are being exploited. The BCBAs are making money off the children and the unsuspecting families. They are being groomed to comply with any adult and leaving themselves open to be abused. They would not be able to tell an adult that they are being abused because it is engraved into their head that they must comply with every adult's command. 

Instead of going home and relaxing after work, the parents are taught to continue ABA at home. They never have a break from it. The parents are constantly reinforcing and taking away comfort items. This is meant to break the child. All these factors lead to psychological problems including PTSD. 

Supported by Science

There was a multisite study led by University of California at Davis. They found that two prominent intervention models for autism had a similar impact. Researchers compared developmental and sign "improvements" in autistic toddlers who received one year of individual ABA and Early Start Denver Model. They found that the effect was not different between 15 hours of therapy and 25 hours of therapy per week. 

Protections Needed for Children in Therapy


There needs to be protections for young disabled children. Some of these children are in therapy for more than 40 hours per week. Child labor laws prohibit this. A child cannot legally work for that long until they are 16 years old. Children need to be children. Children should not be made to have a full time job at their own expense. The BCBAs are making money by exploiting these children. 

Yes they should have effective therapies. They should have non harmful therapies. They should have time to be children. My children are in therapy for 2- 2.5 hours per week. See the difference?


Sources:
https://wmich.edu/sites/default/files/attachments/u910/2017/hr-poster-fl-child-labor-2016.pdf
https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-much-applied-behavioral-analysis-is-enough-259915
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/10/201019133644.htm?fbclid=IwAR2anCV74Pi7D-KfAivRB5irfg91pyLR9kp7ZRnD8wgYRw5ITh8BpaK0w7A

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