I love my son Conor dearly. Conor is severely autistic and intellectually disabled and there is no greater compliment that I can pay to Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas than to say that he has helped Conor to live a much more rewarding life than he otherwise would have known.
- Harold L Doherty, Conor's dad, on the passing of Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas
Video from MyNews4, NBC
Parents seeking help for their autistic children have few places to turn. There are people pushing various ideologies, there are professionals defending corporate interests, there are immature, self obsessed surgeons with no expertise in autism disorders insulting and berating parents of autistic children. there are many who declare that they know what is best for our autistic children. But there are very few who have stepped up to the plate and delivered any real help for autistic children and their families. One who did help, Dr. O.Ivar Lovaas, passed away yesterday.
My son Conor, now 14, did not benefit from the 40 hours a week of Applied Behavior Analysis, ABA, between the ages of 2 to 5 as indicated by the studies of Dr. Lovaas. The resources to provide such treatment were not easily available in New Brunswick 12 years ago and we did not even begin to know much about autism or how to deal with it for a couple of years. Here in New Brunswick a dedicated group of parents from Fredericton, Moncton, Miramichi and other communities fought against indifference and even hostility from well connected anti-ABA ideologues to help establish the UNB-CEL Autism Intervention Training program and ensure the provision of quality ABA services. Dr. Lovaas' work was of fundamental importance in discussions with government aimed at helping our autistic children.
Conor has benefited greatly from the provision of ABA based education intervention in our neighborhood schools. As a family, ABA provided us with the tools to help us communicate with Conor who is severely autistic and intellectually disabled and otherwise has limited communication skills.
Conor would not have received the benefits of ABA that he has received and his life, and ours, would not be as rich as they are without the pioneering work of Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas.
Thank you Dr. Lovaas.