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What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

​Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) consists of a wide range of developmental disabilities which affect behavior, communication, and social interaction.  Mild forms of ASD may resemble a learning disability, while more severe forms may involve great impairment of communication, learning and social abilities, abnormal sensory responses and sometimes self-injurious behaviour.  Individuals with Autism may have one or two skill areas that excel their aged-matched peers skill levels.  These skills are usually seen in areas of mathematics, music, art, or memory.  Children with milder forms of ASD may be diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or Asperger's Disorder.

Common Characteristics of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders:

​​Social Interaction:

  • May have poor/atypical eye contact

  • May fail to respond or have a delayed response to his/her name

  • May not like to be held or cuddled

  • May not seem aware of other's emotional feelings

  • May prefer to play alone

Communication:

  • Atypical language development

  • May speak with an abnormal tone or rhythm

  • May repeat or echo words or phrases said to them

  • May have difficulty starting or maintaining conversations

Behaviour:

  • May "over-react" or may not be affected by the way things smell, taste, look, feel or sound

  • May engage in repetitive movements (rocking, spinning, hand flapping)

  • May develop/prefer specific routines, orders, and rituals

  • May be fascinated by parts of objects

  • May have persistent intense preoccupation with a single item, idea, or person

The above identifies different combinations of characteristics.  It is the degree to which the child experiences these characteristics that affects learning and functional living that determines the individual's placement on the Autism Spectrum.

What is IBI/ABA?

Intensive Behaviour Intervention (IBI) is a treatment for autism that utilizes the principles and teaching methodology of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA).  ABA is the science of how behaviour works and how learning takes place.  It helps to promote development and develop the skills required for greater independence within your child.

With ABA, skills are broken down into smaller, manageable tasks and they are presented to the child in a highly structured environment.  Desired behaviour is rewarded, while inappropriate behaviours are ignored, redirected or discouraged.  The instructor therapist (IT) carefully tracks what WORKS for your child and what doesn't work.  Programs are then adapted accordingly to fit their individual needs.  Parental involvement, training and support are a key aspect in helping your child succeed.

IBI programming consists of longer hours than ABA.  IBI is comprised of 20-40 hours of ABA per week. 

ABA/IBI is widely believed to be the safest and the most effective treatment for autism.  It is shown to be comprehensive and show lasting improvements in the lives of children with autism.
 

 

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