The question included a link to the CBC New Brunswick Votes 2010 expert commentary by NB Clinical Psychologist and UNB Professor Emeritus (Psychology) Paul McDonnell Ph.D., who has provided advice and support for the establishment of the UNB-CEL Autism Intervention Training Program, the NB autism intervention program for preschoolers and the autism specific training of teacher assistants and resource teachers in New Brunswick. As stated in the article Autism services needed for N.B. adults Dr. McDonnell emphasized the need for a modern youth and adult autism care and residential treatment network in New Brunswick:
"In the past we have had the sad spectacle of individuals with autism being sent off to institutional settings such as the Campbellton psychiatric hospital, hospital wards, prisons, and even out of the country at enormous expense and without any gains to the individual, the family or the community," he said.
Among the reforms that the UNB professor is calling for is an enhanced group home system where homes would be connected to a major centre that would develop ongoing training and leadership.
The larger centre could also offer services for people who have mild conditions. But, he said, it could also be used to offer permanent residential care for individuals with more severe diagnoses.
"Such a secure centre would not be based on a traditional 'hospital' model but should, itself, be integrated into the community in a dynamic manner, possibly as part of a private residential development," he writes.
"The focus must be on education, positive living experiences and individualized curricula. The key to success is properly trained professionals and staff."