Monthly Board Report - March 2001
New Autism Program in the Tri-County
By Marsha Houlahan, Coordinator, Preschool Speech Language
"An Early Start" - the Southeast Regional Autism Program, is an intensive early intervention program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ages 2 to 5 years. "An Early Start" is funded through the Ministry of Community & Social Services until March 31, 2002, and will be serving the counties of Leeds, Grenville, Lanark, Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, Addington, Hastings and Prince Edward. The Lead Agency for Leeds, Grenville and Lanark is Lanark Community Programs. The Early Start Program will use a variety of behavioural analysis treatment techniques to help a child develop social-communicative skills.
Referrals to "An Early Start" can be made directly by families, physicians, or community agencies - with parental consent, to (613) 257-7121, ext. 239. A first round of applications to this program occurred in October, 2000. There were 46 applications made, with 24 children being accepted into the program, including - 7 children from Leeds, Grenville and Lanark region.
A Clinical Director (Psychologist) will oversee "An Early Start". A staff of Senior and Instructor Therapists will provide anywhere from 15 - 40 hours of intensive behavioural treatment to children in their home, day care or school locations. Individual service plans will include input from speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, developmental paediatricians, and psychologists with a specialty in Autism Spectrum Disorders.
A permanent Clinical Director has not been recruited as yet, rather the position has been split into contracts, in order to serve this larger regional program. The consulting psychologist for Lanark, Leeds & Grenville is Dr. Jeff Sherman, from Ottawa.