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HWDSB launches pilot to improve school-based supports for students with ASD

Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2017

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board is a host site for a Ministry pilot to improve school-based supports for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The year-long pilot, announced by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 is part of the province’s ongoing commitment to ensure successful outcomes for all students, including students with ASD.

The pilot takes two approaches:

  • Targeted Education Assistant (EA) Training – to provide Educational Assistants with access to voluntary 40-hour online training and professional learning sessions.
  • Dedicated Space for External Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) Practitioners – an approach that provides dedicated spaces for external practitioners of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) to deliver on-site autism services.

HWDSB is one of 18 school board across Ontario selected to implement the program, and one of 11 to use both approaches. The pilot also provides funding for additional ABA Expertise Professionals.

The pilot is a first step towards integrated service delivery for school-aged children and youth with ASD. It aims to improve the experience of students with ASD by reducing the number of transitions for students during the school day between home, school and community-based supports and services. Through training and professional expertise, the pilot will also work to improve the capacity of school teams to provide skilled support to students with ASD.

“We have heard from families that services for children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder must be consistent from home, to school, to the community,” says Minister of Children and Youth Services Michael Coteau. “We are committed to moving ahead with regulation of ABA providers, and to working closely with our partners across government to deliver better quality, more integrated services for young people with ASD and their families.”

Please contact asdpilot@hwdsb.on.ca for more information.

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