Monday, November 4, 2013

Kirby calls on government to extend autism therapy

For Immediate Release

November 4, 2013

Kirby calls on government to extend autism therapy

St. John’s—In response to concerns consistently expressed by parents and the autism advocacy community, St. John’s North MHA Dale Kirby is calling on the provincial government to extend eligibility for the Intensive Applied Behavioural Analysis Program beyond Grade 3.

The Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) home therapy program is an intensive home-based early intervention program provided to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This behavioural and skill teaching intervention program assists children with autism in meeting targeted developmental goals and is currently provided up to entry into Grade 4.

“Parents of children with autism tell me that they would like to see ABA therapy provided beyond Grade 3. There is a lot of research evidence to suggest that children with autism would benefit greatly from such an extension,” says Kirby.

Kirby is urging the provincial government to consult with parents, advocates, educators, health care providers, and experts in the autism community in the lead up to the 2014 provincial budget to hear their concerns about the Intensive Applied Behavioural Analysis Program.

“The provincial government should take the time to listen to parents’ concerns about the ABA program and find a way to incorporate these concerns into its pre-budget planning process,” says Kirby. “The fact is many parents simply cannot afford to pay the cost of ABA therapy themselves. They are counting on government to hear their concerns and act on them”.

For more information, please contact:
Dale Kirby, MHA
Tel: 709-729-6921

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