Date of Award

2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Education

First Advisor

Starr, Elizabeth

Keywords

applied behavior analysis, ASD, autism, autism intervention program, IBI, intensive behaviour intervention

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

The Autism Intervention Program (AIP) in Ontario has been in place providing intensive behavioural intervention (IBI) to children with autism spectrum disorder since 1999 (Perry et al., 2008). This IBI program involves teaching children using applied behaviour analytic (ABA) principles for 25-40 hours per week, in the family home or in an IBI centre. The use of ABA-based methods for teaching skills and decreasing problem behaviour to children with autism has the most evidence to date, and therefore remains in high demand by families within the province. The purpose of the current study was to examine parent perspectives about the Ontario Intensive Behavioural Intervention program for children with autism. A mixed methods design was used to investigate a sample (N=110) of parents who completed the Family Perspectives on IBI Questionnaire (FPIQ) and the Measure of Processes of Care (MPOC) rating scale. In addition, a small focus group (N = 3) was conducted with three parents who had completed the questionnaires. The study investigated parents' overall satisfaction of IBI, and variables that predicted satisfaction. The results of the study indicate that parents were satisfied with their child's outcomes, and they wanted IBI to extend longer, even across the lifespan in some instances. Families felt that the IBI program needed to be evaluated separately with respect to the funding body, and the clinical team. Parents were dissatisfied with the manner in which funding was delivered for the program, how assessment decisions about their children's IBI services were made, and the financial impact that IBI had for many of them. In terms of the clinical team, although some families were dissatisfied with the number and quality of therapists, or the number of meetings with their Supervising Therapist (ST), they were very satisfied with the close relationships they formed with their team, and the individualized clinical goals provided by some teams. An examination of the direct funded option (DFO) vs. the direct service option (DSO) found that the DFO families felt they had more control over their services, but they expressed more dissatisfaction overall.

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