We’ve Got Trouble!

We’ve been hearing rumors for months.

Autism Outreach, the only developmental autism therapy program offered by Family Services, is undergoing a change.

No, they’re not expanding the program, and, no, they’re not giving it more money, and, no, they’re not giving our autistic kids support for a longer time.

What they are doing is changing Autism Outreach’s therapy approach from DIR/Floortime to the Denver Early Start Model. They’re changing from a developmental approach based on relationships to a therapy where children are prompted to do what is wanted by the offering of tokens and other incentives. Autism Outreach is moving from a developmental approach where the therapy works by developing dynamic and creative thinking and communicating, to one where children learn tasks by rote.

We, obviously, think this is a great loss. If you agree, we urge you to do two things:

  1. Contact the Minister of Families, the Honourable Scott Fielding, and let him know that this change from DIR/Floortime to the Denver Model must not happen.  It will be most helpful if you do this by August 26, 2016.
  2. Print a copy of our petition (click to download).  Have as many people as you know who are are concerned about this issue add their names, and send it to us at
    86 Bernard Bay, Winnipeg, R2C 3Y1.

Below we have a sample letter that you can e-mail or snail mail. Please do this right away, and get family and friends to do it, too. The more people who protest that we’re having something important stolen, the more likely it is that we’ll be able to keep this important developmental therapy in place to help our kids.

In addition to sending it to the minister, it’s a good idea to cc it to your MLA.

******

Honourable Scott Fielding, Minister of Families
MinFS@leg.gov.mb.ca
Room 357
450 Broadway
Legislative Building
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8
Dear Mr. Fielding,
We have been told that Family Services is moving Autism Outreach from the solidly developmental DIR/Floortime therapy to the behaviorist Denver Early Start Model. This change
  1. is unnecessary;
  2. is redundant since St. Amant already offers a behavioral therapy for autism;
  3. restricts choice since now people who prefer to avoid behavioral therapies have no options;
  4. and was done without public consultation of any kind.
DIR/Floortime must remain as the therapy model at Autism Outreach, not the Denver Model. We need a developmental therapy for autism in Manitoba.
 
Sincerely yours,

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2 comments

  • Maggie Ptashnik

    We have been told that Family Services is moving Autism Outreach from the solidly developmental DIR/Floortime therapy to the behaviorist Denver Early Start Model. This change
    is unnecessary;
    is redundant since St. Amant already offers a behavioral therapy for autism;
    restricts choice since now people who prefer to avoid behavioral therapies have no options;
    and was done without public consultation of any kind.
    DIR/Floortime must remain as the therapy model at Autism Outreach, not the Denver Model. We need a developmental therapy for autism in Manitoba.

  • Wanda Jones

    I feel this will diminish the ability of these children as they get older and will make it even harder for them to have social interactions of even the most limited types as they get older.You are taking away all individuality.

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