Thursday, October 28, 2010

Association for Science in Autism Treatment: New Brunswick (Canada) is Already a Leader in Autism Treatment

During the recent election campaign CBC published on its web site an article by New Brunswick autism expert Dr. Paul McDonnell. The CBC headline read N.B. Can Be a Leader in Autism Services" and the article appeared on September 14 2010.   David Celiberti BCBA-D, President Association for Science in Autism Treatment, commented on that article pointing out that New Brunswick is already a leader in autism services. Dr. Celiberti is very familiar with New Brunswick's autism service delivery, having spoken in Fredericton and having met with parents, autism advocates and autism professionals here.  His comments on the CBC article can be found on the ASAT website under the title ASAT Responds to Canadian CBC's "N.B. Can Be a Leader in Autism Services" and are set out following this introduction. (The bold blue emphasis is added by me - HLD)
ASAT's recognition and encouragement to continue in our efforts here in New Brunswick are most welcome.

"ASAT Responds to Canadian CBC's "N.B. Can Be a Leader in Autism Services"

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I read with great interest your recent article about the state of services in New Brunswick (“N.B. Can Be a Leader in Autism Services," September 14, 2010). I do beg to differ about the title of the piece. New Brunswick is already a leader. To have amassed 800 trained agents of change in six years is nothing short of incredible and inspiring, particularly given the diversity of your province with respect to geography and language. Other Canadian provinces can look to New Brunswick for an exemplary model of how things could and should be for children with autism and their families.

There is a misconception that services in the United States are superior to that of our neighbors to the north. I can assure you that children with autism in rural areas and in economically depressed areas of the U.S. do not always access state of the art, science-based treatment such as those based on applied behavior analysis. In many cases throughout the US, children with autism receive poor quality behavior analytic services that may be lessened if providers were able to access more intensive training and networking opportunities similar to what is being offered in your province. Part of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment (ASAT)'s mission is to help close that gap through information dissemination, and we are keenly interested in the efforts of leaders like yourself developing, implementing, and evaluating systems.

And like other true leaders, you have looked critically at your accomplishments with an eye toward making every year of service delivery better than the previous year. We applaud your recognition that treatment parameters such as intensity need to be tailored to each child to maximize gains. When resources are scarce, this individualization can be an arduous task, but nonetheless critically important. Equally important is the need to communicate to government officials, tax payers and other stakeholders that immense financial savings are attached to doing right by our children when they are young.

It is unfortunate that funding for parent training is not more abundant. Optimal outcomes for children with autism are predicated on the support of educated, informed and skillful parents. Promoting carryover, ensuring consistency, and enhancing skill development across all environments are crucial roles for parents, but parents require support and training to assume these crucial roles. Your stated concerns and insights about the dearth of services for adults are much appreciated, and reflect the challenges that we have here in the U.S as well.

Families of children with autism in New Brunswick are blessed. Keep fighting the good fight.

David Celiberti, Ph.D., BCBA-D, President
Association for Science in Autism Treatment


ninerdomestic said...

I have a major issue with the remark "New Brunswick is already the best". I have a 5 year old with Asperger's and since the end of his intervention through Early Ed. programs, he has nothing. the only support schools will offer is an ASW trained TA (who is not truly ASW trained) and a teacher who treats him like a burden. What are the children and parents surrounded by this syndrome supposed to do? Where are we supposed to go for assistance and information. All we see are services offered to pre-school and high school. Nothing in-between for those "high functioning" kids. My child is left in the dark.

Unknown said...


Neither the comment by Dr Celeberti, nor my introduction of that comment, state that NB is already the best. Dr. Celeberti stated that NB is already a leader. Dr. Celeberti also stated that we are looking for ways to continue to improve.

I don't know what you mean when you say that the only support schools will offer is an ASW trained TA who is not truly ASW trained. Approximately 500 TA's in NB have received UNB-CEL Autism Intervention Training which is essentially the same training as that given to preschool ASW's through UNB-CEL.

If your school and district refuse to provide ASW trained TA's to children with Aspergers can you indicate the school and district on this site or are you concerned about reprisals? If so you can email me and ask me not to post your comment and I will keep your comments confidential.

Harold Doherty