Autistic Kids Denied Sufficient Therapy in Ontario

Autism Information

Ian C. Langtree - Content Writer/Editor for Disabled World
Published: 2009/10/13 - Updated: 2024/02/04
Publication Type: Informative
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: With October being Autism Awareness Month in Canada, Ontarians should be aware of the increasingly large gaps in services for children with autism in this province. Children with autism are denied access to timely, sufficient, and individualized publicly funded therapy. The refusal to meet our children's basic developmental needs means they regress in their skills and are robbed of their chance to live a normal, independent life. Parents wanting to address their children's developmental needs face a price tag of approximately $50,000 per year for private ABA therapy-a cost which puts sufficient intervention out of reach for most families and prevents children from getting the help they need.

Introduction

Children with autism are still being denied sufficient therapy in Ontario; during Autism Awareness Month, ARO reveals what all Ontarians should know about the disturbingly poor state of autism services in the province.

Main Digest

With October being Autism Awareness Month in Canada, Ontarians should be aware of the increasingly large gaps in services for children with autism in this province.

"Children with autism continue to be denied access to timely, sufficient, and individualized publicly funded therapy. The refusal to meet our children's basic developmental needs means they regress in their skills and are robbed of their chance to live a normal, independent life," says Sharon Aschaiek, mother of Jaiden, 3, who has autism, and founder of Autism Resolution Ontario (ARO), a grassroots, non-partisan, parent-run advocacy group seeking to make publicly funded applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy, the most established and widely recommended scientifically proven autism intervention, more accessible to kids with autism in Ontario.

Among the core challenges parents face in securing this vital therapeutic intervention for their children with autism are years-long waits, premature termination of therapy without evidence-based cause, and a lack of sufficient, individualized, authentic ABA at school.

Parents wanting to address their children's developmental needs face a price tag of approximately $50,000 per year for private ABA therapy-a cost that puts sufficient intervention out of reach for most families and prevents children from getting the help they need.

At its launch this past April, ARO issued the provincial government a one-year challenge to make significant progress toward achieving a well-designed, integrated, funded, and managed set of services for children with autism in Ontario. Six months into its mission, ARO is disappointed to report that the provincial government continues to ignore the plight and suffering of children with autism who are being insufficiently served by its autism intervention policies.

The facts about autism and ABA therapy inaccessibility in Ontario reveal a worsening health crisis that affects not only tens of thousands of families affected by autism but all taxpayers in Ontario and demands immediate attention from our elected officials:

Autism Facts

ABA Facts

ABA (applied behavior analysis) is a behaviorist teaching style that uses rewards and consequences to teach individuals with autism social, communication, academic, and life skills and socially appropriate behavior. Positive reinforcement, systematic observation, and accurate data collection are the cornerstones of effective ABA.

IBI (intensive behavioral intervention) is the use of ABA methods in an intensive (approximately 30 to 40 hours/week) program of one-on-one instruction. IBI is also sometimes called "intensive ABA." EIBI (Early IBI) describes IBI programs for preschool-aged children.

In existence longer than any other behavioral or developmental intervention for autism, and with more than 30 years of formal research behind it, ABA is the most evidence-based, scientifically proven therapeutic intervention for children with autism. It's considered by most autism researchers and clinicians nationally and internationally to be the most effective autism intervention.

ABA in Ontario

Families of children with autism must wait two to four years, or longer, to access provincially funded IBI in Ontario.

About 1,500 children with autism are waiting to receive provincially funded IBI - that's more than the 1,300 children currently receiving it. About 400 children are waiting to qualify for the IBI waitlist.

IBI has been proven to be highly effective for children with all degrees of autism, but in Ontario, it is only provided to children diagnosed as "moderate" to "severe."

During their lengthy wait, many families pursue private IBI to maximize their children's early years. However, since it costs about $50,000 a year, most can't afford an intensive program for their children, so their opportunities to achieve their maximum developmental potential are squandered.

In Ontario, children regularly have their IBI treatment prematurely stopped without the insights of the child's therapeutic program director or scientific data documenting the child's progress being taken into consideration.

Research shows that individuals with autism who don't receive IBI require lifelong specialized services that cost, per person, upwards of $4 million - millions of dollars more than it costs to provide them with sufficient IBI therapy.

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Cite This Page (APA): Langtree, I. C. (2009, October 13 - Last revised: 2024, February 4). Autistic Kids Denied Sufficient Therapy in Ontario. Disabled World. Retrieved July 21, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/health/neurology/autism/autism-ontario.php

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