Newsroom
2/4/2012
CHEO Launches New Services for Children and Youth With Autism Spectrum Disorders
OTTAWA - The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) is pleased to mark World Autism Awareness Day by announcing the launch of a new program that will allow CHEO to provide children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) - and their families – with a broader range of services.

The Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) selected CHEO, in partnership with the Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre (OCTC), to deliver a new Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) program for the eastern Ontario region.

ABA programs use an approach to learning that reinforces positive behaviours and help children and youth become more independent and develop stronger communication, social and daily living skills. The program also includes education opportunities for parents and caregivers.

ABA can be appropriate for all children and youth with ASD, unlike Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI), which is provided to children at the severe end of autism spectrum.

“We are thrilled to be able to help more children in our community to reach their full potential,” said Dr Lise Bisnaire, director of CHEO’s Autism Program of Eastern Ontario. “Children with autism have a good capacity for learning and, with the help of ABA, we can focus on the improvement of key life skills that can really help make a difference in their lives.”

Together, CHEO and OCTC have developed several new education curricula, trained new staff, set up physical spaces for parent education and clinical work, and created all of the new clinical materials to be used in the ABA program.

Throughout the eastern Ontario region 150 families have met with Intake workers to assess their children’s needs, approximately 100 parents have participated in education sessions and 50 children are actively participating in group sessions to address specific areas of need. Families can access CHEO’s ABA services close to home, whether they live in Orleans, Kanata, Pembroke or Cornwall.

This program is part of a province-wide MCYS initiative to provide additional services to children and youth with ASD, including those with Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger’s Disorder. CHEO and OCTC will deliver ABA services to families living in Ottawa-Carleton, Renfrew, Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry and Prescott-Russell.

To learn more about the ABA Services and Supports Program at CHEO, please visit www.cheo.on.ca/autism, call (613) 745-5963 or toll free 1-877-542-2294.

About Autism Spectrum Disorders:
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are one of the most common developmental disabilities in children and youth. These disorders are characterized by difficulties in social interactions, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviours. They include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome.

About CHEO’s Autism Program of Eastern Ontario:
It is funded through the MCYS and consists of three streams: the Autism Intervention Program of Eastern Ontario (AIP), the School Support Program of Eastern Ontario (SSP), and the new Applied Behaviour Analysis Services and Supports Program of Eastern Ontario (ABA)

About World Autism Awareness Day:
World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) was adopted as a resolution by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007. Since then, it brings attention to and raise awareness of autism, a pervasive disorder. To learn more about WAAD, please visit http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/waad

For more information, please contact the CHEO Public Relations department at: 613-737-2343
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