ABC: debate over controversial treatment for autism

Submitted by convenor on Fri, 8/10/2021 - 17:05

The report at https://www.abc.net.au/radio/adelaide/p… is one-sided. It fails to speak to qualified or registered clinicians in Applied Behaviour Analysis. It is well known that any early intervention approach for autism does not suit all autistic children, but getting views from clinicians on one side of the debate is biased. 

Dr Bullus seems to have a commercial interest in competing therapy approaches for autistic people. Her claimed ABA experience seems dubious.

The autism community is complex, and riddled with divergent views and opinions. ABA is a polarising issue and autistic voices are not united about it.

Subject:
The World Today

Date:
Fri, 8 Oct 2021 05:45:20 +0000

From:
ABC Corporate_Affairs5 <Corporate_Affairs5.ABC@abc.net.au>

To:
convenor@a4.org.au <convenor@a4.org.au>

Dear Mr Buckley

Thank you for your email regarding The World Today story Debate over controversial treatment for autism.

Your complaint has been investigated by Audience and Consumer Affairs, a unit which is separate to and independent of program making areas within the ABC.  We have carefully considered your concerns and information provided by the program, reviewed the content and assessed it against the ABC’s editorial standards for accuracy and impartiality.

The program has explained the newsworthy focus of the segment was to explain why Applied Behaviour Analysis was one of the most common treatments for autism, and examine why there were some concerns being raised about it.  Given the editorial focus of the story was on concerns that had been raised about aspects of the treatment, the program presented two critical perspectives and one perspective explaining the recognised benefits of the treatment. It is important to understand that impartiality does not require that every perspective receives equal time or that every facet or aspect of an issue is presented.

The program has advised Audience and Consumer Affairs that it sought a range of perspectives to present in the story and the reporter was recommended a number of people from within the autism community, who were considered as relevant perspectives on the issue being examined. However, the reporter was unaware that two of the interviewees were from the same organisation. The program has confirmed that this oversight has been discussed between the reporter and her editor, with a reminder of the need to carefully establish a contributor’s credentials and background before including their contributions in the broadcast. 

We acknowledge this is a complex and polarising issue, but we are satisfied the broadcast clearly established the fact that ABA is a commonly recognised treatment and that the program’s audience would not be discouraged from pursuing it in consultation with their treating medical professional.

Thank you for allowing the ABC the opportunity to respond to your concerns, which have also been brought to the attention of ABC News management.

The ABC Code of Practice is available online at the attached link;

http://about.abc.net.au/reports-publica….

Should you be dissatisfied with this response to your complaint, you may be able to pursue the matter with the Australian Communications and Media Authority http://www.acma.gov.au

 

Yours sincerely

 

Kieran Doyle

Audience and Consumer Affairs

 

 

 

 

The report at https://www.abc.net.au/radio/adelaide/p… is one-sided. It does fails to speak to qualified or registered clinicians in Applied Behaviour Analysis. It is well known that any early intervention approach for autism does not suit all autistic children, but getting views from clinicians on one side of the debate is biased. 

Dr Bullus seems to have a commercial interest in competing therapy approaches for autistic people. Her claimed ABA experience seems dubious.

The autism community is complex, and riddled with divergent views and opinions. ABA is a polarising issue and autistic voices are not united about it.