Thursday, May 17, 2007

Good News from Ontario on Autism & Education - ABA in Ontario Schools

Good news for autistic students in Ontario. The government of Ontario is directing ALL school boards to provide Applied Behaviour Analysis to all students with autism.

TORONTO, May 17 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is improving the learning environment for students with autism spectrum disorders by directing all school boards to provide Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), Education Minister Kathleen Wynne announced today.

"All students with autism deserve equal access to this vital teaching
approach that can improve their focus on individual projects and strengthen
their communication with other students in the classroom," said Wynne.
"We are implementing our plan to ensure students with autism receive the
best education possible."

The Ministry of Education instructed school boards today that they must
provide programs that use ABA methods to students who need it. This
directive is part of the government's response to the recommendations of
Autism Reference Group report, Making a Difference for Students with
Autism Spectrum Disorders in Ontario Schools: From Evidence to Action,
received earlier this year.

The implementation of ABA will be supported by extensive staff training
starting with six to eight representatives, including superintendents,
principals, teachers, teaching assistants, school support staff and Special
Education Advisory Committee members, from each school board over the
next two months. This will be followed by school team training - funded
through a $1-million investment - for up to 1,400 principals, educational
assistants and teachers over the summer months.

Additionally, the government has provided a grant of $2.75 million to
the Geneva Centre for Autism. "We are very grateful for the government's
support so we can provide further training on ABA approaches to school
staff in the fall," said Margaret Whelan, Executive Director of the Geneva
Centre for Autism. "This investment will allow educators to help more
students with autism succeed."


Suzanne said...

I wonder how that's going to work for my daughter. She's doing half-kindergarten, half grade one next year.

Anonymous said...

Good for them... I wonder though about the capacity of OTF membership to actually deliver top of the line ABA programs. I wonder if they will contract out for consultant support and program deisgn? Or if they will work in partnership with folks who are running home based programs?


Unknown said...


You ask an important question. Here in New Brunswick the University of New Brunswick through its College of Extended Learning developed an Autism Support Worker Autism Intervention Training program along with a program for Clinical Supervisors. Together these people were trained to work with pre-school autistic children in delivering ABA programs. The program has also been extended to provision of training to Teachers Aides and Resource Teachers as ASWs and CSs respectively.

Our current premier, Shawn Graham committed to training another 100 TAs and Resource Teachers a year for 4 years at the UNB-CEL AIT program. That commitment was stalled for one year by Department of Education officials with different agendas but it is back on track to recommence in October 2007.

In Ontario there will be many logistical problems to overcome. If the New Brunswick experience is any repeated bureaucratic agendas will also be a hurdle to be cleared before delivery of ABA programs in Ontario schools can actually begin.