Friday, March 14, 2008

Autism Rising In Oregon But Services Are Lacking

Autism is rising in Oregon but services are lacking. KVAL reports Oregon state statistics indicating that autism is up 11 percent compared to last year. Services have not kept stride with the dramatic increase: "Local autism activists said schools lack the training, staffing and specialized programs to serve students with autism."

The situation in Oregon is not unique. Reports of startling increases in autism diagnoses across North America are common. Also common is the failure of many education authorities to come to grips with the challenges of educating autistic school children.

Here in New Brunswick, Canada, we have at least started to address this challenge in a serious and comprehensive manner. The outstanding UNB-CEL Autism Intervention Training program has, for the past couple of years, been providing autism specific training to Teacher Aides and Resource Teachers working with autistic students. The current government of Liberal Premier Shawn Graham and Education Minister Kelly Lamrock has committed to training 3 more years classes of Teacher Aides and Resource Teachers to work with autistic students, placing New Brunswick ahead of many jurisdictions in North America in making a serious effort to educate all autistic students.

Persons interested in more information about the UNB-CEL Autism Intervention Training program for pre-schoolers or students with autism might wish to contact:

Anne Higgins
Director, Professional
Development Division
University of New Brunswick
College of Extended Learning


Anonymous said...

Just discovered your blog. Love it. I will check back all the time...keep on fighting for us!

Unknown said...

Thank you for the kind words John.

Anonymous said...

Hi Harold,
We live in Oregon.
Yep, we have a 12% statewide increase and an expert review panel that just determined that there is no evidenced treatment and will be reporting so to the legislature.

We also have a state program based on a ($250K)publicly-funded study, which according to a review in Research in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, was based on no accepted experimental design and provided no useful information on efficacy or outcome.

So we're doing good here in Oregon/sarcasm.

Best wishes to you in New Brunswick to do better than Oregon!