The St.Amant Autism Early Learning for pre-school children has made a dramatic impact on the lives of numerous families over the last 10 years. This program is funded through Family Services and is unique in Canada – putting Manitoba first in autism services and demonstrating the dedication our province has to our families. As autism rates continue to rise, the Autism Early Learning program at St.Amant has continued to grow and evolve. This year, we celebrate 10 years of services following the initial pilot project.
The program focuses mainly on the three areas children with autism need the most support learning: communication skills, social skills and personal skills.
In 2011, St.Amant Research Centre evaluated the results of the Autism Early Learning Program. Eighty-five pre-school aged children were assessed before and after receiving Early Intensive Behaviour Intervention (EIBI) for 12 months.
The results are astounding. After just one year, communication skills (listening, imitating, requesting, and labeling) improved on average by 166% . The average improvement in social skills (cooperation, play and leisure, and social interaction) was 130% . Adaptive or personal skills (dressing, eating, grooming, and toileting) improved on average by 67% .
“In the last year Zoey has learned how to listen to you when you address her, and the biggest accomplishment by far is that she’s learned how to talk!” said Angela Todd, parent of a child recieving services.