One of the best autism blogsites on the internet, in my humble opinion, is "ABA4Autism or other Neuropsychological Disorders" hosted by blogger and Psychologist Dr. Gary Brown, Psychologist/HSP Professor and Chair Department of Psychology University of Tennessee, Martin, Tennessee. In a recent blog Dr. Brown described as "criminal" the use by school systems of special ed teachers with no ABA training to teach autistic children.
In New Brunswick a similar problem has existed for far too long but it is in the process of being corrected. Teachers with no autism specific training and Teachers Aides/Assistant's without any training have been engaged in "teaching" autistic children, usually in the mainstream classroom regardless of the autistic child's environmental sensitivity issues, development level, curriculum content or preferred method of learning. Steps have been taken to remedy this problem though. Within the last two years some Resource teachers and teachers aides have been trained at the UNB-CEL Autism Intervention Training program at the University of New Brunswick campus in Fredericton New Brunswick and more on the way with the current government committed to training an additional 100 resource teachers and aides for each of the next four years at the UNB-CEL AIT program.
Despite the presence of a strong, politically connected lobby which has pushed hard to have ALL children regardless of disability educated in the mainstream classroom in New Brunswick, reality has dictated otherwise. Some school districts and schools have already departed from adherence to the mainstream classroom for all philosophy. My own son, Conor, 11 and profoundly autistic, has benefited from learning in a quieter environment outside the mainstream classroom where he can receive one to one instruction. His current teachers aide is experienced and trained at the UNB-CEL AIT program. He also spends SOME time in the mainstream classroom for defined periods of time during which he can interact with other children in appropriate activities.
Jurisdictions across North America would be wise to look at the New Brunswick model as it unfolds and examine the UNB-CEL model if they seriously intend to deliver a real education to autistic students in their jurisdictions.