On August 20th Channel 4 are airing a show called How To Train Your Baby Like A Dog. It shows dog trainer Jo-Rosie teaching parents how to use clicker training normally used on dogs to train their children to be compliant using treats.
Nursery World: Sector outraged over Channel 4 show ‘Train Your Baby Like a Dog’
Professional Association of Canine Trainers: official statement regarding Channel 4’s upcoming ‘Train Your Baby Like a Dog’ programme
Children are not dogs!
There are also reinforcers used in clicker training, such as taking a child’s favourite object and using it to bribe a child into doing a chore or task.
If the task is not carried out there will be a punishment, any distress shown by the child is ‘negative behaviour’ and will be deemed as non compliance and a planned ignoring is undertaken by all caregivers involved.
Clicker training is used in the behavioural therapy ABA (Applied Behavioural Analysis), used on autistic children. It has been linked to PTSD in adults that were subjected to it:
Evidence of increased PTSD symptoms in autistics exposed to applied behavior analysis
Here is a brief overview of ABA from a dog trainer: Is ABA Really “Dog Training for Children”? A Professional Dog Trainer Weighs In.
The children as far as we know in this show are not autistic, however NO child should be treated like this.
We here at Autistic Inclusive Meets, an autistic-led organisation based in London, ask CEO Alexandra Rose Mahon of Channel 4 to consider that this dehumanising to children, that it should not be given a platform and to consider cancelling the airing full stop.
The children are shown no dignity or respect in clicker training behaviourism, and will be a prime target for grooming in the future as they will have been taught to comply to an adults demands, regardless of their own comfort or autonomy for reward.
Please sign our petition here.
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