FREDERICTON (GNB) – Parents and guardians of children and youth with autism spectrum disorder are encouraged to register for the provincial government’s free online training programs.

The training programs, Autism Spectrum Disorder and Behavioural Interventions: An Introduction for School Personnel – Access for Parents/Guardians, and Autism Spectrum Disorder and Behavioural Interventions: Supporting Preschool Personnel – Access for Parents/Guardians will be available to all parents and guardians of preschool children and youth with autism spectrum disorder.

“Our government knows how important it is to support families with children who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “It is recognized as one of the most common developmental disorders affecting children in Canada and around the world. Opening up this training allows parents and guardians to better understand, assess and participate in their child’s program.”

Online registration through the department’s website will be open to parents and guardians from May 10 to 24. The programs will begin on June 3.

The programs have been provided to preschool autism agencies and educational personnel across the seven school districts for the past few years. Although these programs were designed to meet the needs of autism intervention agency personnel and school personnel working with children with autism, parents and guardians will also benefit from access to slightly modified versions of these programs.

Enrolled parents and guardians will have access to modules pertaining to basic concepts, the impact on learning, as well as the interventions that aim to address the skill deficits associated with the disorder. The modules will help parents gain a better understanding of the characteristics of autism spectrum disorder and offer them initial training in the evidenced-based interventions being used by the personnel working with their child. It will also help them to be better equipped with the tools to further understand, support and actively participate in their child’s intervention.

These training programs are offered by the department’s Autism Learning Partnership branch and are available in both English and French.

Additional information about the training programs can be found on the department’s website.