Abstract

The field of educating individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder has ever been rife with controversy regarding issues ranging from etiology and causation to effective intervention and education options. One such basis for controversy has been between humanism, and humanistic philosophical concepts, and its fundamental differences with behaviorism, and behavioristic philosophical concepts. These differences have long been debated, and the belief that the two orientations are generally mutually exclusive has been largely maintained. Recently, however, there has been some resurgence of interest in reconciling some of the fundamental humanistic and behavioristic tenets. Most of these discussions, however, center on specific interventional methodologies as its basis without delving more deeply into the underlying philosophical issues. This article will explore some fundamental humanistic concepts that ought to be reconciled in order for behaviorism to be considered a humanistic practice. While the notion that the possibility of reconciliation is maintained, the central argument maintains that much work needs to be done on the part of behaviorism both philosophically and methodologically in order for such reconciliation to be achieved.

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