New Brunswick governments have been outstanding in establishing an internationally recognized early evidence based autism intervention service and have made some gains in autism training for Education Aides and Resource Teachers.
There has been no progress though in establishing an autism centre for adult treatment and permanent residential care for severely impacted autistic adults with a network of autism group homes around the province.
It is very easy to become discouraged in advocating for adult autism care in New Brunswick. The establishment of early evidence based autism intervention services was not easy but successes have been achieved. While there have been backward steps such as the recent hard line 95% attendance requirement, since revised, which did not appear to take into pressures and demands on family and the time available to them the NB early intervention program has been recognized as a leading Canadian model by the Association for Science in Autism Treatment. Some gains have also been made in provision of autism trained Education Aides and Resource Teachers although much more needs to be done including training more aides and teachers and ensuring that autism trained aides work with autistic students and not be displaced by untrained aides with more seniority. Adult autism residential care and treatment however remains abysmal and the first signs indicate that things are not likely to change under the current Liberal government. The NDP and Green Party both addressed adult autism care issues during the last provincial election. Both the Liberal and Conservative parties were silent on autism issues.
The adult autism care problem, as reported by Samantha Magee and the Miramichi Leader, has flared up again recently in Miramichi when a 19 year old non verbal autistic man was given notice of eviction from the special care home in which he resided solely because he was now an adult. Several persons including me spoke out yet again asking our government to address the adult autism care issue in New Brunswick. Specifically we asked the government yet again to build an autism treatment centre in Fredericton near the expertise of the Stan Cassidy Centre which treats autistic children and youths and provide permanent residential care for those with severe dysfunctional autism disorder. The centre would also provide oversight and training for autism group homes in New Brunswick communities around the province.
The Miramichi Leader reported former Autism Society New Brunswick President Lila Barry's comments urging the establishment of the autism centre based network as described by UNB Professor Emeritus (Pscychology) Paul McDonnell in 2010 and asked the Minsiter of Social Development for a response. The government response came from Communications Officer Anne Bull: