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Monday, November 28, 2011

ABA in Saskatchewan

The StarPhoenix carries a story about Canadian autism families finding a roadblock to ABA funding in Saskatchewan:
Linda Restau, director of continuing care and rehabilitation with the Saskatchewan health ministry, says no evidence has been presented stating ABA is actually the best kind of therapy. Instead, she says, treatment in this province uses a variety of techniques - including some parts of ABA.

"We have the Canadian Agency of Drug and Technology provide unbiased evidence to us to support decision making in all areas of health care, and their research concluded that there isn't sufficient evidence for the superiority of any particular evidence-support intervention strategy," she says.

The problem, say Lisa and the Tetlocks, is that evidence actually does support the use of ABA and, if it wasn't an accepted standard of care for autistic children, other provinces and states in the U.S. would not have embraced it the way they have.

In British Columbia, for instance, there is $22,000 available per year for each child under six, and $6,000 per year for ages six to 18.

In Ontario, ABA is offered to children and youth up to their 18th birthday, depending on their level of need. In Alberta, the Family Support for Children with Disabilities program provides funding which can be used for ABA or other therapies. Funding ranges between families depending on their assessed need and what supports and resources they may already have available to them. Manitoba also has a comprehensive program, offering training for new practitioners and three streams of ABA support for children with autism, as well as other supports such as respite or home tutoring support.