Inspirational ABA and Autism Quotes

Having Autistic students in your class does not need to feel overwhelming or stressful. Autistic people are similar to neurotypical people in many ways- the most important being that they want connection, acceptance, and love. As teachers, our uncertainty can come from a lack of understanding. This blog will give some insight as to what is Autism and some quotes to motivate you, help you to understand, and even some to help support parents.

Let’s start by answering some basic questions.

What is Autism spectrum disorder?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental disorder that affects individuals in various ways. It’s characterized by challenges in social communication and interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive behaviors and interests. According to the DSM-5, these symptoms manifest early in childhood and can significantly impact an individual’s daily functioning. This is a diagnosis that requires a developmental pediatrician to provide. This cannot be given by schools.

Early signs of Autism may include delayed speech or language development, difficulty with social interactions, and engaging in repetitive behaviors. It’s crucial to recognize the diversity within the Autism spectrum, as each individual with Autism possesses unique strengths and challenges. Understanding and respecting this diversity is essential for providing appropriate support and fostering inclusion within our communities and classrooms.

What is neurodiversity?

Have you heard the term neurodiversity? Maybe you have and wonder how it relates to Autism… let’s break it down.

Neurodiversity is a concept that celebrates the natural variation or differences in human brains, including conditions like Autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and others, as part of the spectrum of human diversity. Rather than viewing these differences as deficits or disorders, neurodiversity advocates emphasize acceptance and accommodation. 

It’s about celebrating the unique strengths and abilities of neurodivergent individuals. But also challenging societal norms that prioritize neurotypicality. Neurodiversity advocacy promotes empowerment and self-advocacy, advocating for the rights, accommodations, and access to opportunities for individuals with Autism and other neurodevelopmental differences. By embracing neurodiversity, we can create a more inclusive and accepting society where everyone’s contributions are valued and respected.

What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientific approach to understanding and changing behavior. It’s rooted in the principles of behaviorism and focuses on observable behaviors and their relationship to the environment.  It can be thought of as the science of behavior.

In ABA therapy, behavior analysts assess individuals’ behavior and design interventions based on empirical evidence to address skill deficits and reduce problem behaviors. 

ABA techniques are highly individualized, targeting specific behaviors and goals tailored to each person’s needs. Common strategies used in ABA therapy include positive reinforcement, prompting, shaping, and behavior management techniques. The ultimate goal of ABA is to increase desirable behaviors, such as communication and social skills, while decreasing undesirable behaviors, such as aggression or self-injury.

It is important to note that many autistic individuals have had negatives experiences with ABA. This has caused many autism advocates to actively avoid this type of therapy. ABA therapists need to strive to always be listening to their clients and engage in neuroaffirming practices.

30 ABA and Autism Quotes

  1. “Different, not less.” – Dr. Temple Grandin, American Academic
  2. “If you’ve met one individual with autism, you’ve met one individual with autism.” – Dr. Stephen Shore, Professor and Author
  3. Autism … offers a chance for us to glimpse an awe-filled vision of the world that might otherwise pass us by.” – Dr. Colin Zimbleman, Clinical Psychologist
  4. “Different isn’t bad. It’s just different, and that can be extraordinary” – Haley Moss, Artist
  5. “Autism doesn’t have to define a person. Artists with autism are like anyone else: They define themselves through hard work and individuality.” – Adrienne Bailon, Actress
  6. “Autism doesn’t come with an instruction guide. It comes with a family who will never give up.” -Kerry Magro, National Speaker and Award Winning Author
  7. “Asperger’s is not a disease. It’s a way of being. There is no cure, nor is there a need for one.” John Elder Robison, Author of “Look Me In the Eye”
  8. “I show people that I can do anything despite my disability. Be yourself no matter what, and don’t let others define who you are.” Rachel Barcellona, Actress
  9. “Children with autism are colorful – They are often very beautiful and, like the rainbow, they stand out.” – Adele Devine, Speaker, Author, Teacher
  10. “Autists are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It’s that you’re destroying the peg.” Paul Collins, Author and Father
  11. “When enough people care about autism or diabetes or global warming, it helps everyone, even if only a tiny fraction actively participate.” Seth Godin
  12. “We can’t cure Autism, but we can alleviate some of the suffering.” – Dr. Temple Grandin, American Academic
  13. “When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower”  – Alexander Den Heijer, international speaker
  14. “Behavior goes where reinforcement flows.”
  15. “You have to understand a behavior before you can change it.”
  16. “Behavior is communication”
  17. “Everybody has a heart that can be touched by something.” – Naoki Higashida, Author of “Reasons Why I Jump”
  18. “To measure the success of our societies, we should examine how well those with different abilities, including persons with autism, are integrated as full and valued members.” -Ban Ki-Moon, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations
  19. “If you’re always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” – Maya Angelou, American memoirist and poet
  20. “English is my second language, Autism is my first” -Dani Bowman, Public Speaker, Autism Advocate
  21. Autism is as much a part of humanity as is the capacity to dream. – Kathleen Seidel, American researcher
  22. I’ve listened enough. It’s time for me to speak, however it may sound. Through an electronic device, my hands or my mouth. Now it’s your time to listen. Are you ready? – Neal Katz, Advocate
  23. “Autism is my superpower.” – Stuart Duncan, Author and blogger
  24. “The world needs all kinds of minds.” – Dr. Temple Grandin, American Academic
  25. “Reinforcement works exceedingly better and faster than punishment.” – Scott, Jain & Cogburn (2021)
  26. “What is love except another name for the use of positive reinforcement?” – BF Skinner, ‘Walden Two’ (1948)
  27. “I might hit developmental and societal milestones in a different order than my peers, but I am able to accomplish these small victories on my own time.” -Haley Moss, Artist
  28. “I work hard to celebrate my son Bennett’s milestones, like learning to put his shoes on and hopping on one foot and singing ‘Bingo,’ because for Bennett, little triumphs that go unnoticed in other children are huge; they are small steps on his slower, windier road to (fingers crossed) independence. We don’t know where the road will go, so we try to enjoy the bumpier ride.”  – Lisa Kadane, journalist whose son has autism
  29. “When enough people care about autism or diabetes or global warming, it helps everyone, even if only a tiny fraction actively participate.” – Seth Godin, Author
  30.  “Autism is part of my child. It’s not everything he is. My child is so much more than a diagnosis.” -S.L. Coelho, Author

These quotes are important for the Autism community because there is the amazing power of words. They can build someone up or tear someone down. It is my goal to always build up those who have Autism as well as build confidence in teachers working with Autistic students in their classroom.

Additionally, these quotes offer insight into the lived experiences of individuals with Autism and their families, we, as teachers, can listen to their thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. By listening to their words, we can gain a deeper understanding of the challenges they face and the strengths they possess. It may even help us to shape what we do in our classroom and how we support these students and their families.

Quotes about ABA shed light on the impact of this therapy on individuals with Autism, highlighting both its benefits and potential drawbacks. By listening to diverse voices within the Autism community, including those who have experienced ABA firsthand, we can better understand the complexities of autism intervention and advocate for approaches that prioritize the well-being and autonomy of individuals with autism. 

Ultimately, listening to these quotes fosters empathy, awareness, and a commitment to promoting acceptance and inclusion for all individuals, regardless of neurodiversity.

Shifting from Awareness to Acceptance

Moving from Autism awareness to Autism acceptance represents a significant shift in how we talk about Autism and support Autistic individuals. While Autism awareness focuses on spreading knowledge and understanding about Autism, Autism acceptance goes a step further by promoting the celebration of neurodiversity and embracing individuals with Autism for who they are, rather than trying to change or “cure” them. It was a great start with awareness, but it is time we up our game.

Autism acceptance acknowledges that Autism is a natural variation of the human brain, not a disease or something to be fixed. It recognizes the value and contributions of individuals with autism to our society and emphasizes the importance of creating inclusive environments where they can thrive. Instead of merely raising awareness about the challenges associated with Autism, Autism acceptance encourages empathy, understanding, and support for individuals with Autism in all aspects of life, including education, employment, and social inclusion.

By shifting the focus from awareness to acceptance, we can challenge stigma, discrimination, and misconceptions surrounding Autism, this can help to foster a culture of inclusion and respect for neurodiversity. It empowers individuals with Autism to embrace their identity and advocate for their rights and needs, while also encouraging society as a whole to celebrate the unique strengths and abilities of all individuals, regardless of their neurodevelopmental differences. 

This teaches everyone that Autism is a valued part of our society and classrooms. When we embrace differences like Autism in our classrooms- and truly embrace them we will create a more nursing, accepting, and inclusive future society.

Ultimately, the goal of moving from Autism awareness to Autism acceptance is to create a more compassionate and inclusive world where everyone is valued and accepted for who they are.

Supports for Autistic Students in Your Classroom

Autism Academy 360 Podcast

If you are looking for some bite sized professional development that you can listen on your commute to work- then the podcast I host with Lisa Hollady from Chalkboard Superhero is for you. We provide you valuable insights, tips, and tricks that are actionable and easy to use in your classroom.

We will chat about behaviors, academics, social skills, and all things in-between. All episodes are around 15 minutes so it is perfect to listen to quickly on your way to or from school!

Need a couple of ideas to start? Check these episodes out:

  • Incorporating Visual Schedules in Teaching: Mini Schedules – Learn how mini schedules can be complete game changers for behaviors. A mini schedule can be a powerful tool for your students with helping students become independent and decrease escape behavior.
  • A SpEd Teachers Guide to Contingency Maps– Ever used a contingency maps? They are SUPER easy ways to teach students new skills. It is a visual representation of rules and can be another easy tool to work on preventing problem behaviors.
  • Understanding the Function of Behavior– This can be a tricky one. To truly change behavior, you need to understand WHY it is happening. We break down how to figure out just that in this episode.

Visual Supports

Visuals are instrumental in supporting autistic children in your classroom. Students with Autism RELY on these supports. Check these out below:

Visual Cue Cards

Tired of repeating yourself? Grab these cue cards to stop doing just that. Giving students a visual of the direction you are trying to say is going to make it much more concrete and support them in understanding what you are asking of them. Click here to grab them.

Social Skills Task Boxes

Teach your students the skills they need to be successful in social settings with visuals. Yup- you can make anything a visual. These are great for targeting very specific social skills like understanding sarcasm, building relationships, or even being aware of emotions in their own bodies.

There are different skills, with 16 different task boxes in each. 

  1. Relationship Skills: Autistic students may struggle with their relationships with peers. Help them identify what makes a good friend and how to build up skills to maintain a healthy friendship with these task boxes.
  2. Social Awareness: We know that social skills can be challenging for students with Autism. These task boxes will work on building those skills so they can feel more comfortable in a variety of social situations. They will work on things like reading body language, conflict resolution, and identifying sarcasm.
  3. Self Management: Understanding emotions within oneself can be hard. Then figuring out what to do with those emotions can be even more difficult. This set helps students work through all of those skills with hands on, visual supports.
  4. Responsible decision making: Teach students how to think before they act, work through tough decisions, and determine right from wrong.

If all of these are a good fit for your classroom, you can snag them in a bundle and save some money!

Join the Behavior Support Hub

This is a monthly membership where teachers get access to new visual supports each and every single month. This means that you will never run out of visuals or supports for your students ever again AND you do not have to go searching for it.

Inside the membership, you will be able to download these supports but you will also get access to an entire library of videos that are supports for YOU! They will tell you exactly how to implement materials, give you even more professional development around behaviors and how to support these students.

I would love to have you join us with the other special education teachers on the inside. We have had amazing connections build inside our community and have helped to support one another. 

You can choose to pay monthly or get two months free and pay yearly! Sign up here: mrsmoesmodifications.com/membership

In conclusion, exploring quotes about Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) offers a multifaceted perspective on the experiences, challenges, and triumphs within the Autism community. Through the voices of individuals with Autism, their families, advocates, and professionals, we gain valuable insights into the diverse ways in which Autism is understood, experienced, and supported.

By listening to these quotes with empathy and an open mind, we not only deepen our understanding of autism but also reaffirm our commitment to fostering acceptance, inclusion, and respect for neurodiversity. 

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