The Ontario government announced changes to the Ontario Autism Program last week that caps the amount of money families can receive for their children’s services. Families are concerned about this but our greater concern is the type of services that are being presented to families.
The overwhelming focus of services still revolves around behavioural intervention such as Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA). The Developmental approaches are not only more favourable to autistic self-advocates, but they are significantly more cost effective.
We will continue to advocate for developmental approach services and supports such as services delivered under the umbrella of the Developmental, Individual differences, Relationship-based (DIR) model including Floortime, which parents can learn quite quickly and be supported through parent coaching, as research demonstrates.
We encourage residents of Ontario to contact your local MPPs and advocate for real CHOICE in autism supports and services, which includes developmental approaches that focus on play-based interactions facilitating relating, communicating, and thinking over behavioural approaches that focus on compliance and shaping behaviour without understanding or addressing the cause of the behaviour.