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Preventing Abuse, Psychiatric Illness and Brain Damage with ABA, Parent Training and Counseling

"Childhood maltreatment is a significant risk factor for a host of psychiatric, developmental, medical, and neurocognitive conditions, often resulting in debilitating and long-term consequences," (Brian C. Kavanaugh, Jennifer A. Dupont-Frechette, Beth A. Jerskey, and Karen A. Holler, "Neurocognitive Deficits in Children and Adolescents Following Maltreatment: Neurodevelopmental Consequences and Neuropsychological Implications of Traumatic Stress," Applied Neuropsychology: Child 6, no. 1 (2017): 64-78, doi:10.1080/21622965.2015.1079712). This study analyzed 23 prior studies. Childhood abuse and neglect were correlated with neurocognitive deficits in executive functions, intelligence, language, visual-spatial skills and memory. Furthermore, children with disabilities are at higher risk for maltreatment, (Miriam J. Maclean, Scott Sims, Carol Bower, Helen Leonard, Fiona J. Stanley. Melissa O'Donnell, "Maltreatment Risk Among Children with Disabilites," Pediatrics epub 139, no. 4 (April 2017): doi:10.1542/peds.2016-1817). **It is difficult for caregivers to maintain self-control when children are aggressive, self-injurious, destroying property, or screaming during the night. Providing ABA, parent counseling and training, as discussed in my book can help safely manage these behaviors and therefore decrease abuse. Yet, many children are not receiving ABA and many parents are not receiving parent training and counseling, although in New York State parents of all children with autism and other children in certain class sizes are legally entitled to parent training and counseling. We need to be providing ABA, parent training and counseling to prevent much more costly illness in the future and it is the ethical thing to do.