About The ABA Services Program of Eastern Ontario
The Applied Behaviour Analysis Services Program of Eastern Ontario (ABA) is a program of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) funded through the Ministry of Child and Youth Services (MCYS). The services and supports funded by this initiative provide children and youth with ASD with the best opportunity to reach their full potential.
This initiative builds and improves on the established continuum of ABA-based services and supports already in existence, and increases education and intervention supports with the goal of achieving long term socially meaningful behavioural changes in children and youth with ASD. The services focus on increasing independence, social inclusion and increased youth engagement, as well as improving the overall quality of life for children and youth with ASD.
The two key objectives for this initiative are:
To provide personalized group and individual interventions resulting in long-lasting, socially meaningful behaviour changes and skill acquisition in the areas of Communication, Social/Interpersonal, Daily Living, and Behaviour/Emotional Regulation in children and youth with ASD.
To provide parent/caregiver education and instruction to increase their capacity to support, maintain, and generalize these behaviour changes and the acquisition of new skills in their child.
What is Applied Behaviour Analysis?
Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) uses procedures that have been demonstrated to help individuals learn socially meaningful new skills. ABA principles and teaching strategies include: reinforcement, prompting, prompt fading, chaining, shaping, and task analysis. In addition, generalization and maintenance allow new skills to be used in other environments and maintained over time.
ABA Referral and Eligibility Assessment
Who can be referred?
Children and youth between the ages of 0 to 17 (up to their 18th birthday) who live within the Eastern catchment area of Ontario, and who have an official diagnosis of Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome or Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified can be referred for ABA services. Referrals can be made directly by a parent/caregiver. Alternatively, referrals may be made by one of the following qualifying professionals:
What happens once my child is referred?
Once a child is found to be eligible, his/her name will be transferred to our ABA services waiting list. If your child is not eligible for ABA services from the Autism Program of Eastern Ontario, referrals to other appropriate community services will be provided.
After receiving a complete referral application (which must include appropriate documentation confirming diagnosis from a physician or psychologist), we will contact you to participate in a strengths and needs assessment. This assessment will be completed by ABA services staff who will determine, together with the family, which type of ABA service is most appropriate for the child and parent/caregiver. In some cases, additional assessments may be required in order to determine the best service delivery plan for the family. Parents/caregivers will be informed about which service the family is eligible to receive. Parents/caregivers will receive a written report of their Family Service Plan.
ABA Services Waiting List
How does the ABA Services waiting list work?
The names of all children and youth who are deemed to be eligible are placed on the ABA services waiting list in order, by date of their referral to the program. Written confirmation of diagnosis is required to be deemed eligible.
How are families informed of the ABA services session start date?
Families will be contacted by telephone as soon as possible prior to a service spot becoming available in the appropriate area of focus. Families can choose to accept the spot offered or decline and be removed from the waiting list at that time.
If the family accepts the spot offered, the child or youth will participate in baseline assessments to determine current strengths and learning needs, and to determine the most appropriate personalized intervention.
How are ABA services supervised?
ABA services are provided by a clinical team including an Intake Worker, a Psychologist, Clinical Supervisor, Speech-Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Behaviour Consultants/Instructor Therapists, and Communication Disorder Assistants/Program Assistants. Parents are an integral part in their child’s successful acquisition, maintenance, and generalization of new skills. All ABA services for children and youth with ASD are accompanied by mandatory parent/caregiver education.
The Intake Worker develops the family service plan with each family and ensures communication with families throughout the provision of ABA services. In addition, following the completion of ABA services, the Intake Worker follow-ups with families to review current maintenance and generalization, and to determine next steps – whether this be re-referral to ABA services or referrals to other appropriate programs in the community.
The Clinical Supervisor/Psychologist has overall clinical responsibility for the ABA services and oversees/monitors the clinical work of the Behaviour Consultants/Instructor Therapists and Communication Disorder Assistants/Program Assistants.
Behaviour Consultants/Instructor Therapists and Communication Disorder Assistants/Program Assistants provide supervision and/or direct intervention to children and youth with ASD, as well as provide workshops and trainings to parents/caregivers to support their children’s acquisition of new skills. SSP Consultants also participate in providing parent/caregiver education.