Applied Behavior Analysis as Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders:Topic Modeling and Linguistic Analysis of Reddit Posts

Bellon-Harn, Monica L. and Boyd, Ryan L. and Manchaiah, Vinaya (2022) Applied Behavior Analysis as Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders:Topic Modeling and Linguistic Analysis of Reddit Posts. Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences, 2. ISSN 2673-6861

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Abstract

Background: It is critical for professionals to understand the discourse landscape within various online and social media outlets in order to support families of children with autism in treatment decision-making. This need is heightened when considering treatments that have garnered excitement and controversy, such as applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy. Method: The specific aims of this study were to identify the main themes in Reddit posts about ABA-based interventions for autism using topic modeling, to examine the linguistic aspects of Reddit conversations using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) analysis, and to examine the relationship between linguistic aspects and user category (i.e., pro- vs. anti-ABA vs. undecided, parent vs. professional vs. an individual with autism). Results: The topic modeling resulted in 11 themes that ranged across various elements, such as autism as a condition and its management, stakeholders, and consequences of autism and the support needed. The posts of individuals were focused on personal experiences and opinions as opposed to clinical and research information sharing. Linguistic analysis indicated that the posts reveal an intimate stance rather than an empirical stance. Conclusions: Results provide insight into perspectives of ABA. This type of research may help in developing and distributing appropriate and evidence-based information.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences
Subjects:
ID Code:
166829
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
03 Mar 2022 15:20
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
04 May 2022 02:46