First of all, I know this is a controversial topic. I ask that you have an open mind when reading this. Please understand that this is my experience only and that I do not speak for all autistics. I understand and empathize with those who have had negative experiences. This is mine. I have taken mention of my ABA services out of posts as to not offend anyone in the past. I will not do that anymore because all autistic voices are important, not just ones who fit a specific narrative.
I have received ABA for many years. It is been both positive and negative, but mostly positive. ABA before I learned about my motor planning issues was terrible. It was constantly drills, testing my poor motor, when they thought they were testing my brain. I could never prove my intelligence, so it was excruciating. A negative experience I had was that, I had a really good BCBA who left, so they replaced her with someone new. When she came in, she said she would not use my letter board or my choices to communicate with me because it would “hurt her license”. She also wanted to do drill-based flashcards with me, which is not functional. I have been lucky to not have very many negative experiences because my mom will kick anyone out right away that does not do functional work or does drill-based work.
That being said, my experience has been mostly positive. I am able to use my letter board to communicate and I help set my goals. There is no drilling or assumption I am incapable. I am valued and listened to. I am able to work on self-care skills like brushing my teeth, making my bed, or even making myself a cup of coffee. Those are invaluable skills that I need to be independent. It is just an added bonus that insurance pays for it. There is no one size fits all model when it comes to disability.