Autism Reality

Autism & ABA – "Life Just Keeps Getting Better" for Jack Fraser


Dealing with it … autism sufferer Jack Fraser enjoys time with his mum Charmaine. / The Daily Telegraph

In “Autism epidemic being ignored” Sunday Telegraph, May 12, 2007, Zoe Taylor describes the autism epidemic in Australia where a recent federal government-funded review of research into autism concluded there was scientific evidence of the effectiveness of therapies including applied behaviour analysis – which draws on research dating back more than 40 years. Despite knowledge in Australia of the efficacy of ABA as an autism intervention the treatment remains underfunded, good news for those who view autism as a “joy” but bad news for families struggling to cope with the realities of autism, families trying to help their autistic children. Amongst the hardship though are stories such as those of Jack Fraser, a young autistic boy whose family has done whatever was necessary to fund ABA treatment for him, with great results for Jack.


Charmaine and Anthony Fraser had to move from Newcastle to Sydney and cash in their Super twice in order to fund ABA therapy for their son five-year-old son Jack.

The couple, from Wollstonecraft, face annual bills of around $60,000 for the treatment which includes one-on-one home therapy sessions every weekday morning and afternoon.

They have seen vast improvements in Jack, but he is unlikely to be able to attend a mainstream school so they are considering sending him to a specialist private school.

Mrs Fraser said she had no regrets about funding the therapy, but was angry there was no Government help.

She added: “When Jack was diagnosed we were devastated at that thought of what life might be like for him. Now he can talk. ABA is hard work, but it has opened up a whole range of opportunities for him. Life just keeps getting better.”

http://www.news.com.au/sundaytelegraph/story/0,,21713139-5006007,00.html

May 12, 2007 Posted by | aba, applied behaviour analysis, Australia, autism disorder, autism treatment | 1 Comment

Shawn Graham’s Autism Promise – A Promise Kept


[Above Premier Shawn Graham; Premier Graham, MP Andy Scott, Autism Connexions director Lana Thomson and some young helpers at the Autism Connexions grand opening]

Since the election of the Shawn Graham led Liberal Party as the government of New Brunswick in September I have made several different comments on the subject of Premier Graham’s autism training promise that he made during the election campaign. The tone and substance of my comments varied depending on other developments that were taking place. During the campaign Mr. Graham promised that a Liberal government would train 100 Teachers Aides and Resource Teachers a year for 4 years at the UNB-CEL Autism Intervention Training program. The Autism Society New Brunswick has trust and confidence in the quality and integrity of the UNB-CEL AIT program. Fulfillment of this commitment will place New Brunswick in the forefront of delivery of real education services to our autistic students.

Despite Mr. Graham’s well known commitment there was continued resistance by some officials responsible for oversight and delivery of such programs. In the last two weeks that resistance reached a previously unimaginable ferocity with an alternative proposal still being pushed very aggressively by some civil servants. The alternative proposal was, putting it politely, fundamentally flawed. Fortunately, Premier Shawn Graham and Education Minister Kelly Lamrock stepped in and confirmed beyond any doubt that the 400 in 4 years UNB-CEL AIT training commitment for TA’s and Resource Teachers would be implemented. Yesterday I participated in a Dialogue on Education Committee meeting with other “stakeholder” representatives and Education Department officials at which that commitment was confirmed with the first 100 persons expected to begin the course in October.

I am very happy that Premier Graham is keeping his autism promise and implementing the training commitment he made on behalf of autistic students in New Brunswick. In some provinces opposition leaders made promises to autism parent advocates and then abandoned those promises and used the power of government to fight the very parents and their autistic children they had promised to help. During his time as opposition leader in New Brunswick Shawn Graham stood with those of us who were protesting outside the New Brunswick legislature seeking evidence based autism interventions for out children and lent his voice and support. In government Premier Graham has not abandoned us. He has kept his word. He is honouring his commitment.

Thank you Premier Graham.

May 12, 2007 Posted by | autism disorder, autism education, Autism Society New Brunswick, election promises, Kelly Lamrock, Shawn Graham, teachers aides, UNB-CEL Autism Intervention Training Program | Leave a comment