Harry Potter a Metaphor for ABA?
So I had this random thought last night that Harry Potter could be used as a metaphor for ABA Therapy… don’t ask me how this got into my head but it did.
So most people by now should know that Harry Potter’s parents died when he was a baby and that he was born a wizard. He was sent to go live with the Dursleys on Privet Drive. He then was subjected to emotional and psychological abuse from the parents as well as physical abuse from their son as learnt that it was okay to bully Harry and no one would care.
The minute Harry showed any signs of being a wizard, his Aunt and Uncle would lock him up in a closet under the stairs. In fact it took Hagrid to track him down and the reveal truth, that his Aunt and Uncle had sworn that they would “stamp it out of him”. There are also wizards born into Muggle families that have no idea why they’re different, until they get their letter.
This is sadly like what I’ve read about ABA Therapy and Autism. You need only replace Harry Potter with an Autistic Child and being a wizard with being Autistic. The muggle born wizards are the self diagnosed autistics still waiting for their letter (diagnosis).
Of course Harry did go to Hogwarts where he faced another kind of discrimination that of the pure bloods vs. Muggle born. While this can be compared to Autistic Advocates fighting for their rights to ban ABA and those that approve of ABA. We’re all wizards but we have very different views on the matter. The facts back up that ABA is torture so that would land you on the Voldemort side of things.
There’s also another comparison in Harry Potter that one could make about ABA Therapy and that’s the case of house elfs. The two most notable being Dobby and Kreacher. They would represent survivors of ABA Therapy.
While Dobby came out of ABA a hopeful person advocating for his own rights, Kreacher unfortunately sided with his abusers. Lots of people liked Sirius Black but his treatment of Kreacher was horrible because just like Dudley he was raised to believe it was okay to treat Kreacher that way.
Also neither house elf is listened to by wizards which is an example of how little society listens to Autistic people about their Autism.