Research for developmental, relationship-based approaches

Research for developmental, relationship-based approaches

It is critically important to inform our government about recent rigorous research when it comes to public policy in order to advocate convincingly for parent choice. Recently, research on Parent Implemented Models (PIM) that use a Developmental, Relationship-Based approach (PIM DRB) (‘Social Pragmatic‘ interventions) has firmly established that PIM DRB programs are evidence-based and should be offered as an early intervention option for young children (14 months to 6 years of age) diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Richard Solomon, M.D. has written a summary (2018) of recent reviews: Wong et al. (2014), Smith & Iadarola (2015), Mercer (2015), and most recently Binns & Oram Cardy (2019) reviewed Developmental Social Pragmatic methodologies. It is clear that thousands of young children are waiting for intensive early intervention services Mandell et al. (2016) when the only option available in a community is behavioural approaches like Applied Behavioural Analysis which simply cannot meet the need. 

Parent coaching models offer a practical solution to wait lists at 1/10th the cost of therapist delivered models and are smart public policy on two counts: cost and easier dissemination on a large scale. The argument also needs to be made that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is defined primarily as an “impairment of social abilities” in the DSM 5, used for diagnosing ASD. The primary focus and research outcomes of PIM DRB are directed at social interaction. The research shows that parents can be coached to interact in an effective way with their children who have ASD and, by doing do, consistently and significantly help their children’s social abilities.

PIM DRB models of autism early intervention that are evidence-based, easy to disseminate, cost effective, and improve social interaction and relationships should be made widely available to all families in the province.

Please sign up for the Ontario Autism Consultations Telephone Town Hall Meetings

Please sign up for the Ontario Autism Consultations Telephone Town Hall Meetings

Please sign up for the next two Telephone Town Hall meetings to let the Ontario government hear your voice during this period of Ontario Autism Consultations! They will happen on Tuesday, May 28th at 8:00pm and on Friday, May 31st at noon.

Also don’t forget to complete the online survey: The Ontario government has opened up consultation for autism services for only a few weeks. Please complete the online survey ASAP if you are a service provider, caregiver, educator, or have any relationship whatsoever to children with special needs. It is NOT just for parents. First you register, then you are emailed a link to complete the survey. 

Please let the government know that what we need is to move away from only providing behavioural services and approaches and towards including neuroscience-supported developmental, relational approaches that take into account a child’s developmental level, individual sensory profiles and form connections with our children to inspire relating, communicating and THINKING (rather than being trained to memorize rote skills). You can select from a number of services (occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, respite, etc.) but also choose “Other” and please include “Developmental approach, relationship-based therapies such as DIR/Floortime”, for instance. 

Please take this opportunity have your say!

Please complete the Government of Ontario Online Survey for Autism Services ASAP!

Please complete the Government of Ontario Online Survey for Autism Services ASAP!

The Ontario government has opened up consultation for autism services for only a few weeks. Please complete the online survey ASAP if you are a service provider, caregiver, educator, or have any relationship whatsoever to children with special needs. It is NOT just for parents. First you register, then you are emailed a link to complete the survey. You can also sign up for the upcoming Telephone Town Hall on May 16th, or May 6th if you are in a northern or rural community.

Please let the government know that what we need is to move away from only providing behavioural services and approaches and towards including neuroscience-supported developmental, relational approaches that take into account a child’s developmental level, individual sensory profiles and form connections with our children to inspire relating, communicating and THINKING (rather than being trained to memorize rote skills). You can select from a number of services (occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, respite, etc.) but also choose “Other” and please include “Developmental approach, relationship-based therapies such as DIR/Floortime”, for instance. 

Please take this opportunity have your say!

Meeting with MPP about autism funding

Meeting with MPP about autism funding

Photo Copyright AutismDATA.org

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting with my MPP Ted Arnott, along with some other parents of autistic children in our community. My goal was to inform and empower the MPP with information about the developmental approach and how important it is to offer CHOICE for families–especially when ABA isn’t appropriate. I also encouraged Mr. Arnott to listen to the voices of autistics in policy making, such as A4A Ontario.

Thank you, Mr. Arnott, for taking the time to hear about families’ need for CHOICE in supports and therapies for autism in Ontario, and how essential providing adequate financial support is for families. And if anyone in Ontario is a care provider who wants to join our cause, please sign the petition here.

Changes in the Ontario Autism Program

Changes in the Ontario Autism Program

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.

Submit your questions by May 2nd for Ontario’s Autism strategy!

Submit your questions by May 2nd for Ontario’s Autism strategy!

We have another chance to be heard by the government! Even if your question is not chosen, the more questions we send will send a message to this government: We want CHOICE in approaches to autism therapy. Ask a question like, “When will parents have a choice in therapy such as more cost-effective, parent-mediated models like Floortime and other developmental approaches?” PLEASE submit your questions immediately… we only have a 24-hour window for this event!

In partnership with the Ontario Autism Coalition, Autism Ontario is inviting people to join them on May 3rd @ 8:00 PM for our Autism Supports Discussion at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.

They say, “We want our government to commit to keeping Autism Spectrum Disorder on the agenda in Ontario. Be there! Let your voice be heard!”

Featured speakers include:

  • Michael Coteau, the Ontario Liberal Party
  • Christine Elliott, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario
  • Monique Taylor, the Ontario New Democratic Party
  • TBD, the Green Party of Ontario

Discussion moderated by Joe McDonald LL.B., Past President Autism Ontario Board of Directors

Click here to submit your questions. Questions can be submitted until Midnight on Wednesday, May 2nd.

This event will be streamed live for those who are unable to attend in person. Stay tuned for more details.