Saturday, June 11, 2011

Autism Services in New Brunswick: We Lack Any Real Adult Autism Residential Care

The Restigouche Regional Hospital in northwestern New Brunswick
is home for some of our adults with autism disorders

In Autism resources in N.B. are a 'patchwork system' Jacques Gallant of the Times & Transcript has reported on the state of autism services here in New Brunswick (Canada, not New Jersey).  As Mr. Gallant reports, our early autism intervention services have received justified praise and our schools have made significant progress although much improvement is needed especially in rural schools. I am interviewed and discuss, in particular, my concerns about the wholly inadequate state of adult autism specific residential care facilities in New Brunswick.  We have group homes with untrained staff who can't accommodate the most severely challenged autistic adults and we have psychiatric hospital in northern New Brunswick far from most of our population.  Other than that we have resorted to temporary housing in hotels, general hospital wards, youth prison grounds and shipping our autistic population out of the province and even out of the country to nearby Maine.  New Brunswick needs an autism specific residential care facility, based in Fredericton, close to the autism expertise that has been developed at the UNB-CEL Autism Intervention Training program and the Stan Cassidy Centre Autism team.  The center should have a variety of configurations and buildings to accommodate the differing needs of the range of autistic adults on the spectrum.  It should have the trained staff and quick access to the autism professionals in Fredericton to help provide continued adult education, recreation and life enjoyment opportunities for autistic adults in New Brunswick.  

1 comment:

Cameron said...

Amen Howard, can't wait till someone in a higher up position gets on board. We need this started today to help our kids for tomorrow. I'm of two minds when I hear so much about Autism in the news. Why so much??? but at least we're talking about it. I think it stirs some pretty powerful emotions in people even if they are not directly involved in it. We just have to keep talking about it I guess. (Not that hard for you, me and others directly impacted eh?). Keep on Truckin'