Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Clinical Continuation Criteria

Intensive Behavioural Intervention is a time-limited evidence-based early intervention designed to accelerate a child's learning or change his or her developmental trajectory. If goals are met, a child will be ready for transition into community-based programs and school.
(....)
After six months of programming, children are to be making meaningful progress in 75% - 80% of the markers to continue in the IBI stream. If not able to, the focus of programming may be on the development of functional skills and eventual discharge from program.


These are some quotes from a document created by the Ontario government to make terminations from ABA therapies easier to effect.
You can read the whole document here. (77K, pdf) This is a very upsetting move on the part of the government, but is in keeping with the general governmental position of justifying doing as little as possible.

The document does not mention what kind of accommodations and restrains will be needed for thousands of low functioning, non verbal, self-injurious, feces smearing, violent teenagers, who were waiting for therapy for three years and dropped from the program because they did not meet 75%-80% improvement in 6 months measuring stick. Now cared for by their likely already exhausted parents, they will be in the hands of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services in just a few years. Perhaps it will be easier for the government to ignore them once they are permanently categorized as "severely mentally challenged" and safely tucked away from view in special homes and facilities. With the lack of developed communication skills, they will make little fuss when funding is cut to long term care facilities as well. The last thing the government, or society, seems to want is a population of retarded kids who can actually speak for themselves to describe how a lack of political will and vision deprived them of the services and education that could have allowed them to function in "normal" society. The loss will be both their and ours.

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