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    FEAT BC Admin

    In this topic area, discussion is on all issues relating to setting up and running a home-based intervention program. Please feel free to bring up any problems or suggestions. Parents can help each other greatly by sharing information and giving suggestions.

    In addition to parents helping parents, A.B.A. professionals on in the Discussion Group can also help provide insight and guidance.

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  • #894

    FEAT BC Admin

    Subject: Clair and Sharons visit
    Date: Sat, 03 Jun 2000 23:48:22 -0700
    From: john boivin or julie robinson

    To Sharon and Clair and all others that were involved in Kelowna's ABA

    Thank you so much for coming. Your energy, commitment and wisdom have left
    your mark on our community.



    Sabrina Freeman

    This post is in reply to anonymous who posted a question on Tuesday, may 30th, regarding programs of the Ministry for Children and Families (MCF).

    This was the question:

    >*By Anonymous on Tuesday, May 30, 2000 – 09:17 PM:

    >I am just starting an ABA program and had heard that some
    >families have gotten some money from the *Special Needs
    >Daycare program" to help with the cost of the therapy. When
    >I called to ask to have the forms mailed to me to apply for
    >this program, I was told that only a subsidy of $107 was
    >available, and that they didn't know what I meant by "special
    >needs daycare". I was wondering if this is in fact correct,
    >or is the social worker just playing games? Has anyone
    >filled out forms for this program and been accepted in the
    >past 4 months? Please respond if so, as we don't want to
    >give up if this program still exists. Please feel free to
    >post under anonymous. Thanks a lot*

    I've waited a couple days to see if anyone else wanted to tackle this question, but since there have been no takers, I am compelled to respond.

    MCF claims to have a plethora of programs designed to "support" families of children with special needs. The list follows:

    – speech and audiology services
    – physiotherapy
    – occupational therapy
    – speech and language pathology
    – respite relief
    – community respite
    – homemaker services
    – supported childcare
    – behavioral support

    I may have missed one or two; however, none of these programs has anything to do with science-based treatment and most are irrelevant for children with autism.

    Despite this point, the list of services has the appearance of generosity, doesn't it! Well, chances are good that you are not going to get this list from your social worker unless she is purposely bucking the system she is working for. There is the odd renegade social worker out there who will try to help you because she may also be fed up with what some refer to as a morally bankrupt system; however, most social workers are *just following orders* (that defense we've heard a few times throughout history).

    The role of the social worker has been completely distorted from one of trying to help clients, to one of being the holder of the purse strings. Put simply, the more programs you know about, the more determined you will become and the more difficult it will be for her to pull the wool over your eyes. Withholding information can make life easier for social workers — they create less demanding clients that way.

    The dirty reality in this province is that unless you are extremely destitute, you likely will have a very tough time qualifying for any of these cash-based programs — almost all means-tested including, by the way, the $107 a month referenced in your question. The $107 a month you might be able to get even if you go through the means testing process; it*s the "crumb" they are throwing to the masses to attempt to calm the growing ranks of angry special needs parents.

    In terms of respite, you may be able to get respite from your community service agency; however, if you make it clear that you are using the money for Lovaas/ABA therapy, it will probably be taken away from you since there is what amounts to a witch hunt for parents providing Lovaas treatment for their children. In fact, MCF issued an internal memorandum prohibiting social workers, team leaders, area managers and regional executive directors from providing individualized funding to parents providing Lovaas to their children. An additional problem with community respite regards the workers. If they will allow you to find your own respite workers, then you can find therapists and have them paid through this program. If, however, they insist on choosing the respite workers, you have a problem since many of these workers are SEVERELY under qualified to deliver effective behavioural autism treatment. Chances are high that an under-educated, under-qualified, government appointed respite worker is not going to become a good ABA therapist no matter how much training is provided.

    In terms of Special Needs Daycare (which I believe is now called Supported Child Care – although they change the names of these programs so often I lose track), there is money for full-time day care workers to be with the child at preschool. Again, you must be deemed by MCF as sufficiently poor to qualify — or you have to know how to work the system.

    In short, I have no advice on how to get a Lovaas program paid for through the government. My very limited funding was pulled, in all probability because I wouldn't stop advocating for children with autism and I told them the truth – from the outset they knew I used every cent for my child's Lovaas program. At the time, I was using the "Special Needs Day Care" money ($800 a month) to partially cover the cost of autism therapists.

    This abuse of parents is the very reason why the government has ended up in the Supreme Court of B.C. to tell their story before a judge. I sincerely hope that the judiciary will protect all our children from this administrative nightmare. I hope that one day, parents of children with autism will not have to deal with social workers to try and fund autism treatment, but rather, will receive direction and authorization from their pediatrician to begin a Lovaas program that government will fund on a universal basis, regardless of parent ability to pay!

    Unfortunately, that isn*t the way it is just yet in LotusLand.

    (Miki's mom)


    Deleted User

    I am just starting an ABA program and had heard that some families have gotten some money from the"Special Needs Daycare program" to help with the cost of the therapy. When I called to ask to have the forms mailed to me to apply for this program, I was told that only a subsidy of $107 was available,and that they didn't know what I meant by "special needs daycare". I was wondering if this is in fact correct, or is the social worker just playing games? Has anyone filled out forms for this program and been accepted in the past 4 months? Please respond if so, as we don't want to give up if this program still exists. Please feel free to post under anonymous. Thanks a lot


    Claire Egan

    This is a follow-up to the previous message posted regarding the upcoming data collection workshop. Workshop flyers have been posted on the web at;

    Flyers are also available at the FEAT of BC fax-on-demand line #513-7233, ext. 341, (Please note that the fax number is 513-7233, as I posted an incorrect number the first time).

    For availability information, please call Claire Egan at 781-8962.


    Claire Egan

    FEAT of BC is sponsoring an upcoming workshop on data collection by Claire Egan and Catherine Sharpe. This workshop will be broken down into 2 half day (3.5 hour) sessions, which will be limited to 15 people each in order to afford individualized teaching. The workshop will cover information on effective data collection and analysis, however the main focus will be on the PRACTICAL application of a data collection system into a home program. In order to accomplish this, attendees will be asked to come with their program binders. We will spend the bulk of the workshop implementing an optimally effective data collection system into your existing home program. As attendees, you will be provided with all the data collection sheets needed (including Short Term Objective sheets and graphs) to convert your data collection system to one introduced by Lorelei Dake, a local consultant trained at Columbia University.
    The objective will be to provide home programs with a maximally effective and accurate data collection system. In addition to this, attendees will leave with the tools necessary to read and analyze data, identify problems and subsequently maximize the progress of each child.
    This workshop is ideal for new parents/therapists or parents/therapists in programs which require a more comprehensive data collection system.
    The workshop is scheduled for Saturday, June 24th at SFU. There will be a morning session (9-12:30) and an afternoon session (1:30-5). The cost is $25 per person.
    Registration forms are available at the FEAT fax-on-demand line 513-7223, or on the web. I will post the web address when it becomes available.

    For more information call Claire Egan at 781-8962.


    Sabrina Freeman

    Passing on a note from Irene regarding the senior therapist workshop on
    “Socialization And Generalization” at Simon Fraser University, June 9, 2000.


    There have been a few inquiries regarding whether the workshop is open to parents. Lisa Wincz, the workshop leader, has indicated the workshop is open to parents who have taken on the role of senior therapist in their child’s program.





    Sabrina Freeman

    Feat of B.C. is pleased to sponsor a . . .


    June 9, 2000, Friday
    9:00 am – 4:00 PM
    Room MBC2292 & 2294
    R.S.V.P. to Irene Cheung @ 439-3073 to reserve a seat
    $25/person payable at the door

    Lisa Wincz, consultant for ABC’s of New Jersey, has generously offered to conduct a workshop on “Socialization and Generalization”.

    Ms. Wincz holds a B.A. in Psychology and is currently working on her Ph.D. at Rutgers University in Clinical Psychology. She has accumulated over ten years of experience in the field of autism. She ran the Preschool Program and oversaw the Home Programs for Allegro School, NJ for 2 years with the former director of the Lovaas Clinic and spent another 2 years working at Douglas Developmental Disabilities Centre at Rutgers University. Both institutions provide ABA programs to their autistic clients. She has also consulted for New York School Districts, and families, privately. Ms. Wincz credits her presence in B.C. to Barbara Rodrigues, a very persistent and determined mom of an autistic child in Penticton who persuaded and convinced her to leave the employment of Rutgers University to provide private consultation services.

    All therapists with senior/head therapist responsibilities are welcome to attend this informative workshop. Please leave a message for Irene at 439-3073 if you have any questions. Calls will be returned in the evenings.


    Deleted User

    Hi there, my name is Aireen. I am responding to the anonymous individual looking for someone to aid the five year-old. I have been doing ABA-Lovaas method for about two years, and is currently working with two families. I use sign language on a regular basis (I have a brother who is hearing impaired). This is just some basic information about myself. I am still schooling however and bus around. If this is what you're looking for please email me at or call me at 977-6838. Thanx.


    Sabrina Freeman

    My comments regard the recent post by anonymous recommending
    the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) rather than signing for a
    deaf autistic child.

    In my opinion, it is ill advised to recommend one method
    over another as a matter of general policy. When deciding upon the type of
    communication system a child should use, the major question that needs to be
    asked is this: into which group in society is the child going to be mainstreamed?

    If the child is deaf, and the parents are targeting mainstreaming the child into
    the deaf culture, then sign is presumably the best option.
    If the child is not going to be mainstreamed with deaf children, then other
    augmentative systems such as PECS or a simple visual system with icons or text
    may be more appropriate. Again, keep in mind we are talking about a child
    who is deaf and autistic. If one does not consider the mainstreaming
    opportunities for the child, then we are selling this child short which is a crime as far as I'm concerned. Many people will argue that the child will not be able to communicate with the hearing community using sign. This is an argument used often when deaf children are taught to sign rather than read lips. However, this attitude minimizes the rich alternative
    that the deaf community offers deaf children.

    I am compelled to address the second issue raised by anonymous: PECS
    and paired vocalizations. Anonymous claims that the pairing of PECS with
    vocalization can lead to complete oral communication. This is a VERY
    contentious area and more research needs to be done in this field before
    PECS can be recommended on a wholesale basic to pre-verbal children.

    There are several points that need to be made regarding PECS
    and paired vocalizations:
    1. children with autism typically over-select. Simply put, our children
    have a tendency to concentrate on a specific aspect of what is being
    presented to them. Many people describe this by saying "they can't see the
    forest for the trees". In other words, they are over selecting to the point
    where they can't see the big picture. This is highly problematic for pairing
    PECS with a verbal since our kids will concentrate (most likely) on the
    visual (the PECS) and not on the verbal.
    2. One of the goals of discrete trial training (DTT) is to decrease or
    eliminate the over-selectivity problem. Therefore, children who respond well
    to DTT, may learn well when pairing a visual system with a vocalization;
    however, a large number of those children may not need an icon system since
    they have responded well to the verbal programs using DTT. For those who do
    need an icon system, the PECS system may be appropriate.
    3. Unfortunately, many of the children who are not progressing quickly with
    their expressive programs, may also have difficulties with over-selection.
    Therefore, those children who may need a visual system will not benefit from
    the paired vocalizations.

    As the above discussion suggests, this issue is far more complex than
    anonymous has presented. I strongly recommend parents speak with their
    consultant regarding when — and if — a visual system should be introduced.

    Sabrina Freeman
    Miki's mom


    Dear Anonymous, This is directed to the individual who"highly recommends" CBI consultants. We are a family who was involved with CBI consultants approximately seven years ago. Their mandate was to develop behavioural and teaching strategies for our non-verbal child with autism. The CBI consultant spent a total of 22 hours in our home over a two month period and many more hours writing up a program which did not involve data collection requisite to determining how goals could be established and met. Most importantly, the CBI consultant never worked directly with our child. It is interesting that the anonymous poster does not even sign his or her name leading me to believe this post is a self serving advertisement by a CBI employee. To the previous anonymous poster who is seeking a Lovaas trained therapist who can sign, please contact me privately and I can put you in touch with an individual who should be able to assist this family. Robin Gelfer

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