TORONTO (April 13, 2016) — The Ontario government has announced a new Ontario Autism Program which integrates Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) and Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) into one system. The new system, however, limits IBI to children between two and four and comes at the expense of children who are five or will turn five in the next year.
OASIS and its members are supportive of a system that helps those with autism lead healthy, fulfilling lives. However, this new policy does not take into account the fact that many children between ages four and five will be removed from service wait lists, unable to get the help they need.
OASIS recommends that the government incrementally introduce the new system and not immediately remove those families who are currently on the IBI wait list. OASIS also recommends that the Ministry of Education put together a plan for how they can assist affected families as quickly as possible.
“This new policy, if implemented the way it stands, sets children and their families back,” said David Barber, President at OASIS. “Early intervention is crucial for a child’s success. The developmental gains made through IBI are integral to success in the education system. This is too important of an issue to simply take away from children the treatment and help they need. Ontario’s most vulnerable children should not be penalized for a system that has been inadequately funded, leaving them stranded on wait lists.”
OASIS is a volunteer-run, member-driven organization. Its member agencies serve over 65,000 of Ontario’s most vulnerable citizens and employ 25,000 full and part-time staff. Its 180+ member agencies currently provide more than 85 per cent of all developmental services funded by the Ministry of Community and Social Services.
L. David Barber