Must-See TED Talks For Applied Behavior Analysts

– The Forgotten History of Autism: Steve Silberman

– The World Needs All Kinds of Minds: Temple Grandin

– To Understand Autism – Don’t Look Away: Carina Morillo

– Autism– What We Know and What We Don’t: Wendy Chung

– How Autism Freed Me To Be Myself: Rosie King

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is comprised of a group of principles and techniques that are used in schools or home settings to modify certain ways of learning, behaving, and interacting with others. ABA has become a very useful therapeutic tool for both children and adults who are on the autism spectrum and/or suffer from developmental disorders related to autism.

TED Conferences, the media organization that sponsors free TED talks online, is an excellent resource for the Applied Behavior Analyst to discover information about ABA and related fields, such as autism. Some of the most popular TED talks that fall into this category have been seen by millions of people in countries around the world. The following Ted Talks provide various insights into those who live autism spectrum disorders.

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The Forgotten History of Autism: Steve Silberman

Steve Silberman is a journalist and author who writes about science and society. His book, “Neurotribes,” explains the history, misinformation, and beginnings of autism awareness from a neurodiversity point of view. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one out of every 59 children born in 2014 have been identified with autism. In this interesting TED Talk, Mr. Silberman points to Dr. Hans Asperger, whose thoughts on ways to educate autistic children are laid out.

The World Needs All Kinds of Minds: Temple Grandin

Temple Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, works as a consultant to the livestock industry and happens to have autism. Her TED Talk focuses on the different ways in which the autistic mind works and how useful autistic people are to society. Temple thinks in pictures rather than in language. She is able to imagine solutions that others may not envision.

To Understand Autism – Don’t Look Away: Carina Morillo

When Carina Morillo’s son Ivan was diagnosed with autism, she knew nothing about the disorder, but wanted to learn how to connect with him. She zeroed in on making eye contact, made a point of putting aside time for Ivan to play with his older sister, and engaged him in pastimes he loved. This TED Talk answers the question “what is autism?” from a mother’s perspective, with insights only a parent can contribute.

Autism– What We Know and What We Don’t: Wendy Chung

In this Ted Talk, geneticist Wendy Chung speaks of the interlocking genetic causes of autism spectrum disorders. She discusses behavioral interventions and the optimal time windows during childhood when the developing brain is at critical stages. Making social connections, using devices to help with communication, and utilizing other technologies and techniques for learning help make the lives of those with autism fuller and more enriching.

How Autism Freed Me To Be Myself: Rosie King

Diagnosing herself with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of nine, Rosie King is a global advocate for those on the autism spectrum. The Emmy-Award winner tests the stereotyping of people with autism in this Ted Talk. She questions whether being normal is a good thing and discusses how autism released her to be her true self.

Autism is experienced along a wide spectrum of behaviors and abilities. The Applied Behavior Analyst is best equipped to serve this population when a variety of perspectives and information is explored. These five Ted Talks are an excellent starting point.