Services for Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
The New Brunswick Preschool Autism Program provides evidence-based intervention services to preschool children who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Intervention Services (AIS) delivers intervention for the Preschool Autism Program through a contract with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD). This agency delivers services across all seven (four Anglophone and three Francophone) school districts in the province. Autism Intervention Services provides services based on the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis which are proven to be effective in teaching basic and complex communication skills, social relationships, play, self-care and skills for school. The basic tool to promote learning is positive reinforcement.
To receive services, a child must be:
• a resident of New Brunswick (including First Nations communities);
• diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder by a physician or psychologist;
• between the ages of 0 and 5 when diagnosed, and not yet entered school.
To enroll in the Preschool Autism Program:
Step 1: The physician or psychologist diagnoses Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Step 2: The physician or psychologist sends a confirmation of the diagnosis form to the Department.
Step 3: The Department contacts the family to explain the services and, with parental consent, initiates the program enrollment process.
All intervention is based on a personalized learning plan developed between the family and a Behaviour Consultant or Clinical Supervisor. These clinicians have advanced training in assessing needs, developing programs and evaluating outcomes. Behaviour Interventionists provide direct intervention.
The program offers two types of intervention:
• targets multiple developmental and behavioural goals at a time
• the child receives ongoing intensive intervention
• one or more behaviour interventionists provide the hours of intervention. They are supervised by a Behaviour Consultant or a Clinical Supervisor
• includes parent/guardian support and coaching from a supervisor to address family challenges
• provides low intensity intervention
• the Clinical Supervisor or Behaviour Consultant works directly with the family or community partners
• they provide support and address a specific challenge for the child or a specific family challenge
• may include a small number of intervention hours that can be adjusted up or down based on the child’s needs.
The agency delivers Intervention services in the most natural environment possible. The intervention can take place in one of three locations: at home, in an early learning and childcare facility, or in limited circumstances, in the autism agency office.
The child's intervention is personalized to meet the unique needs of each child and their family. The primary goal of intervention is to identify and reduce a child’s most significant barrier to learning in their natural environment. Interventions are based on assessments which are completed by the agency on an ongoing basis. The plan will include a summary of the goals and objectives that will guide the intervention. Plans are revised and updated on an ongoing basis according to the child and family’s needs.
Each Anglophone and Francophone school district in New Brunswick is linked to a Regional office of Autism Intervention Services. Families receive services in their language of choice.
Children may receive services from the Preschool Autism Program until they begin school. Autism Intervention Services and schools have access to common training and tools and will work together to make the transition to school smooth and effective.
Parents receive a parent handbook upon enrollment that explains services and helps families achieve best outcomes. Parental engagement is encouraged as it often increases the benefit of the child’s enrollment in the program.
Additional information is available through our Brochure and Parent Handbook.
If you have questions or comments, please contact us at: 1-844-377-3819 or by email at Autism.Autisme@gnb.ca