Saturday, May 17, 2008

New Brunswick Autism Service Delivery Model At The CAUCE Conference 2008

The New Brunswick Autism Service Model will be discussed at the CAUCE Conference 2008 hosted this year by the University of Western Ontario. CAUCE, the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education, will be holding its 2008 Conference May 27, 2008 - May 31, 2008 at the Hilton London Ontario. Anne Higgins and Sheila Burt will be there for concurrent session 5 on May 30. Discussion of the New Brunswick Autism Service Model will focus on the UNB-CEL Autism Intervention Training Program:

How to Keep the Pieces Together: A Multi-Partnered Community Based Training Program

Anne Higgins, Director, Professional Development, College of Extended Learning, University of New Brunswick

Sheila Burt, Manager, Professional Development Division Delivery Team, University of New Brunswick

In 1998, a University of New Brunswick (UNB) professor and the autism community in the province lobbied the provincial government to fund intervention treatment for pre-school children. Today, the families of autistic children receive multi-partnered, systematized intervention services. The College of Extended Learning (CEL) at UNB is a pivotal partner in this endeavour, providing bilingual training and practicums, as well as holding together the many critical pieces of the complex service delivery. This session will examine the critical pieces that need to be paid attention to in the development and delivery of a multi-partnered, community-based training program and how the CEL has put mechanisms in place to anticipate problems and how these mechanisms are used to respond to multiple unique agendas.

The UNB professor referenced in the above excerpt is Professor Emeritus (Psychology) and Clinical Psychologist Paul McDonnell. Paul was honored by the Autism Society of New Brunswick in 2006 for his contributions to autism in New Brunswick. He is the only person who has been so honored and it is impossible to overstate his role in improving the lives of autistic persons in New Brunswick. He has worked directly with autistic children, educated parents, professionals and public decision makers. Paul has guided the autism community and autism advocates toward effective evidence based interventions for autism and has provided many of the cornerstone elements of the New Brunswick Autism Service Model.

In the excerpt it also states that "the College of Extended Learning (CEL) at UNB is a pivotal partner in this endeavour". I agree completely with that statement. Anne Higgins and Sheila Burt, working with Paul, Barb D'Entremont and Amanda Morgan from UNB have put together the UNB-CEL Autism Intervention Training Program which now provides training to persons working with autistic preschoolers and in New Brunswick schools. The UNB-CEL AIT program is marked by its quality and integrity and ensures that autistic children in New Brunswick receive quality effective evidence based intervention and education.

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