Autism Reality

ABA Based Autism Pre-School Program Successful in Manilus New York

Parents in Onondaga County New York are pleased with their children’s progress in an ABA based pre-school program for autistic children. Applied Behavior Analysis has been subjected to hundreds of academic studies, and anecdotal reports, that indicate substantial gains for autistic children but still detractors look for some way to discredit ABA. Every success story like this one in Onondaga County New York makes it harder for those detractors to make their case.

Success with New Pre-K Autism Program

Last Update: Feb 7, 2007 7:59 PM

Manlius (WSYR-TV) – A new program, geared toward helping children with autism, is getting off the ground in Onondaga County.

Called Enable, and it’s offered at a pre-school in Manlius.

Zachary Freeman looks like your typical 3 ½ year old. About a year ago, he was diagnosed with autism.

Zachary’s mom, Janie, says her son has a hard time communicating and is nervous around other children. But since he started pre-school at shining stars daycare, he’s come out of his shell.

“In the last month, I’ve noticed more joint attention, more spontaneous language, more interaction with his brother and us and it’s really wonderful. We’re thrilled,” she says.

Zachary’s learning thanks to a special curriculum called applied behavior analysis, or ABA. It works to improve skills and behaviors in autistic children through a very structured learning environment.

Education Director Phil Grajko says, “Our job is to take that methodology, do it as intensely as we can in the 2 to 3 years that we have children so that they’re successful in a typical kindergarten classroom.”

To most people, this looks like a shopping cart full of toys, but here it’s a shopping cart full of tools used to teach special needs children how to communicate.

Zachary spends five hours each weekday at the center. Thanks to county and state funding, it doesn’t cost a thing.

Janie Freeman says, “They have one in Rome and Cortland, but we didn’t feel that comfortable putting him on a bus that far, so we’re thrilled this opened up.”

This is something they’ve wanted since Zachary was diagnosed. He’ll stay here until he’s 5 and then hopefully start kindergarten somewhere else with other kids his own age.

The classroom is full now and there’s a waiting list. The school is applying for more state aid so it can hopefully expand the program next year.

February 7, 2007 Posted by | aba, Applied Behavior Analysis, autism, education | Leave a comment

What Does Throne Speech Autism Commitment Mean?

Yesterday I commented that the Graham government’s throne speech contained good news for students with autism because the speech contained a commitment to autism specific training for TA’s. Opposition leader Shawn Graham had committed during the campaign to training 100 TA’s and Resource teachers per year for the next 4 years via the UNB-CEL Autism Intervention Training program. This morning’s Telegraph Journal APPEARED to indicate a major watering down of that commitment though indicating in a story carried on page A3 , that Education Minister Lamrock was committing to 100 TA’s over the course of his government’s mandate. The Minister also appeared to be wavering over whether the training would be done by the UNB-CEL folks, widely respected by the NB Autism Community and across Canada or on the cheap by Department of Education civil servants. The difference is substantial.

– Telegraph Journal, February 7, 2007, Joshua Errett Minister promises 100 autism support workers in schools

There are literally hundreds of students with autism in New Brunswick schools. Many are effectively excluded from receiving a real education because they do not have the autism trained personnel working with them to assist their learning by specialized methodologies such as Applied Behavior Analysis. They have been betrayed by New Brunswick politicians before. In the past an interdepartmental (Education, Family Services, Health) committee (the IDC) was established to examine autism services in New Brunswick. The IDC took almost two years to conclude that autism specific services were virtually non-existent. It issued a report and recommendations which sat unread by the lead Minister on the IDC, for almost a full year and most of its recommendations were never fulfilled and are now seriously outdated. Autistic children do not need any more political betrayals. Hopefully, the new Liberal government is not about to water down its commitment to a fraction of what Mr. Graham promised.

On May 4, 2004 a Fredericton Liberal MLA stood in front of the Centennial Building with protesting parents of autistic school children and said “”We can do better. We know the options,… “We know that ABA treatment works. Premier Bernard Lord says he has to make tough choices? I say he made bad choices and cut taxes. If you can get up every day and deal with this, you deserve the Liberals’ support.

Daily Gleaner, May 4, 2004, Joel Kane, Parents march to protest tight funding for autism

I hope that Education Minister Lamrock remembers his words from May 4, 2004, remembers Mr. Grahams campaign commitment and honors that commitment fully.

February 7, 2007 Posted by | ABAA, autism, autism education, autism support workers, campaign promises, Daily Gleaner, Education Minister Kelly Lamrock, Premier Shawn Graham, TA's, Telegraph Journal, UNB-CEL | Leave a comment