Learning about autism and how it impacts your child helps parents build an effective treatment team or Behavioural Plan of Intervention. This is especially important in B.C., where parents take the lead in hiring service providers and prioritizing therapy goals for their child or youth.

There are three general treatment models for children with ASD:

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is the science of human behaviour. It is the process of applying interventions in a systematic way in order to improve social behaviors. For example, techniques such as reinforcement are used to increase behaviours, generalize learned behaviours or reduce undesirable behaviours. A core feature of Applied Behaviour Analysis is that programs and interventions focus on meaningful outcomes for the learner.

Developmental Social Pragmatic Approaches are based on the principles of typical development and how children learn to interact. The goal is to improve the child’s ability to form positive, meaningful relationships with other people. Developmental Social Pragmatic Approaches emphasize teaching functional skills in a sequence that is developmentally appropriate. They are child-directed whereby the adult responds to the child’s interests; taught in the context of natural social routines; and their intensity is defined by the amount of active involvement by the child, not by the number of hours of treatment per week.

Naturalistic Developmental Behavioural Interventions, sometimes referred to as ‘combined approaches’, combine the best of Applied Behaviour Analysis and Developmental Social Pragmatic Approaches intervention models. The emphasis is on developmentally appropriate skills that involve shared control between the adult and child.

Connecting with Your Community

There is a lot to learn from others in your local autism community – families and community agencies can provide valuable information.

ACT – Autism Community Training also has several helpful resources including:

  • Autism Information Database (AID)
    The Autism Information Database (AID) is a free search tool to help you locate supports and services in your community. Search the AID under Community Resources, select Community Groups and input your postal code to locate a self-help group near you
  • Autism Videos @ ACT (AVA)
    Autism Videos @ ACT (AVA) is a free, resource that helps families and clinicians understand the many dimensions of autism treatment as well as the vital role of parents. AVA provides engaging videos by experienced clinicians who use evidence-based practice to overcome everyday challenges