CST: 29/05/2016 18:00:52   

Quebec's Autism Forum: A Step in the Right Direction

107 Days ago

Miriam Foundation salutes collaborative spirit demonstrated by hundreds of participants

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Feb 12, 2016) - Over the last two days, representatives from the Miriam Foundation participated in Quebec's first forum on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). The forum was an opportunity to identify objectives for improving services for people with ASD, to set out priorities for better meeting the needs of individuals and families, and to work toward agreeing on a unified vision to mobilize partners in developing integrated service networks. Eight themes were discussed: evaluation and diagnosis, early childhood, youth and adolescence, adulthood, family, residence, uniqueness and complexity, and research and knowledge sharing. In each of these themes, priorities were established.

Positive Movement: Shortened Waitlists for Diagnosis

The Miriam Foundation salutes the government's recognition of the importance of early diagnosis. Although children on the Island of Montreal are now getting better access to a diagnosis, it is the Foundation's hope that children throughout the province may also benefit from resources that would address current waitlists for diagnosis that can sometimes take up to two years.

More Resources Needed: Services for Children

Increasing access to specialized early intervention services for children with diagnosed ASDs was one of the major issues that was discussed during the forum; the Miriam Foundation shares the concern of most that were present: too many children are waiting far too long to have access to proven therapies such as EIBI (Early Intensive Behaviour Intervention). The earlier a child is diagnosed and receives therapy, the better their chances for realizing their own unique potential.

Optimism for Next Steps: A Unified Approach

The Minister for Rehabilitation, Youth Protection, Public Health, and Healthy Lifestyles Lucie Charlebois has, through this forum, confirmed the importance of ASD issues to the Quebec government. Diane Proulx Guerrera, Chairperson of the Board at the Miriam Foundation: "For the thousands of families touched by ASD in Quebec, this forum gives some hope that their voices will be heard. We salute the Ministry, and endeavour to continue our collaboration through concrete actions to support our Foundation's mission of helping people with ASD and intellectual disabilities to lead more fulfilling lives."

About the Miriam Foundation

The Miriam Foundation has been dedicated for over 40 years to ensuring that greater insight and new research improve the quality of life for all those affected with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and intellectual disabilities (IDs). The Foundation is committed to raising and investing funds, and providing the leadership required to:

  • Create and support developmental, clinical, vocational, residential, and respite programs for children and adults living with ASDs and IDs.
  • Offer education and training to professionals, caregivers and family members.
  • Foster specialized research focusing on improving diagnosis and developing new treatments and interventions for people with ASDs and IDs.
  • Deliver social and recreational activities to promote inclusion.

The Miriam Foundation supports The Gold Centre: a private, not-for-profit organization with a mission to develop services, research and knowledge transfer, as well as provide programs to support people with autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities.

Stay connected with the Miriam Foundation on Facebook and on Twitter

About See Things My Way

The See Things My Way Centre for Innovation is a new initiative of the Miriam Foundation dedicated to assisting individuals with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disabilities, and their families. It is funded by the Miriam Foundation's See Things My Way Fundraising Campaign for improving access to, and the quality of, services across the life span. The Centre for Innovation launches innovative pilot services and applied research models that serve as exemplars to be replicated in the broader community. The Centre for Innovation intends to launch and/or facilitate pilot models related to: diagnosis services for autism and intellectual disabilities, early intervention for pre-school children, Applied Behaviour Analysis certification program via local universities, specialized classrooms for school-age children, post-secondary integration program for employment and community, long-term community residences and medical/dental services.

For more information or to arrange an interview,
please contact:
Maude Bourassa
514-554-1105
maudeb@miriamfoundation.ca