Autism FAQs

  1. What’s Autism?
    Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development.
  2. Is Autism a mental illness?
    No autism is not a mental illness rather it is a mental condition present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.
  3. Is Asperger related to Autism?
    With the publication of the DSM-V Diagnostic Manual in May of 2013 previous subtypes of Autism such as PDD-NOS, Autistic Disorder and Asperger’s, were merged into one umbrella diagnosis referred to as ASD.
  4. How common is Autism?
    Based on recent studies by Canadian researchers, the prevalence rate of ASD is 1 in 68. Autism is four times more frequent in boys than in girls.
  5. Can children or youth with Autism are able to learn?
    The people with autism learn, and the rate at which they learn, can be totally different from others without autism. Therefore, those with autism sometimes need to learn things that we do not consider the part of learning.
  6. What are the major causes of Autism?
    The causes of Autism are unknown yet
  7. What are the major symptoms of Autism?
    The children and youth with Autism normally:
    – hesitate to make eye contact
    – either unable to speak at all or speak just few words
    – are not social etc.
  8. Who are the professionals working with children and youth with autism?
    A team of professionals such as speech pathologists, occupational therapist, psychologists, ABA therapist and other educators work with your autistic child.
  9. If I suspect that my child has autism, who should I contact for referral?
    You can contact following health professional for referrals such as: family doctor, pediatrician, psychiatrist, psychologist, Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), Occupational Therapist, Registered Nurse and a Social Worker; just to name a few, They can refer you case to Regional ABA Lead Agency
  10. What are ABA lead agencies?
    These agencies are funded b
    y the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) to deliver ABA-based services and supports. Please check for of the agencies working in your area
  11. What are the responsibilities of the ABA service provider?
    Some of their services are listed below:
  • manage referrals
  • proceed with intake
  • identify service needs
  • develop an ABA-based service plan
  • deliver ABA-based services
  • work with parents/caregivers to co-ordinate with other services the child may be receiving
  • provide a single contact person for the parent/caregiver about their child’s ABA plan
  • give parents/caregivers instruction and education about ABA-based methods

12. What are Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) based services?
ABA-based services and supports help to improve the autistic child or youth’s communication, social and interpersonal skills, behavioral and emotional skills and the daily living.

  1. What is the difference between ABA and IBI?
    Applied Behavior Analysis
    (ABA) is an approach to teaching skills based on principles of learning and behavior. It can be easily incorporated into home, schools and at a training center
    Intensive Behavior Intervention (IBI) is specific intensive format that is based on the principles of ABA. It is provided in a 1:1 or small group setting.
  2. What’s Individual Service Plan (ISP)?
    Since each individual person with autism is different and has different needs, individual service plans are designed on the basis on an assessment, called ISP.
  3. Who prepares ISP?
    After receiving the referrals, local service provider identifies the service needs of child /youth in consultation with the parents or caregivers and then designs ISP

13. Are there any funding or government funded ABA-based services and supports are available locally?
All children or youth who are diagnosed and confirmed having ASD, they are eligible for ABA-based services and supports till the age of 18th birthday.

14.How long will my child receive ABA-based services?
ABA-based services and supports are provided for 2 to 4 hours per week for 2 to 6 month periods depending on the child’s needs.

15. What is the role of a parent/caregiver in the delivery of ABA-based services?

Parents/caregivers play a very important role in ABA-based services. Parents/caregivers reinforce behaviors and skills learned in the program at home and talk to providers about their child’s needs.

Autism without Borders