This was a comment said to me recently when I asked a tutor to reinforce the individual with autism. The individual had a history of being aggressive towards others when they didn’t get what they wanted. This time the individual just stamped their foot a little, sighed and shouted a little. My thoughts were ‘wow, what an improvement, we want to increase the frequency of these low level demonstrations of anger as they are an appropriate alternative to the aggression’ and so I told the therapist to provide reinforcement.
We didn’t provide the item he wanted but did provide a token on his board. Everyone gets angry at times and many people show anger by shouting a little. ABA is not about making the individual so compliant that they are vulnerable to being exploited. ABA is about teaching functional coping skills. Getting angry but expressing it correctly is a functional skill that many of us use from time to time!