MONTREAL, April 5 /CNW Telbec/ - Early Intensive Behavioural
Intervention (EIBI), the most highly recommended, comprehensively
researched and universally recognized treatment for autism, continues
to be questioned, underfunded and ultimately threatened - but only in
At least four compilations of multiple studies in the last three years
confirm that EIBI is a well-established, evidence-based practice.
Elsewhere in North America, it has been the standard autism therapy for
"The language issue is keeping Quebec behind the rest of North America
on EIBI," said Dr. Katherine Moxness, director of Professional
Services, West Montreal Readaptation Centre (WMRC).
"Because there is no French-language data on EIBI from a Quebec-based
population yet, we are constantly forced to defend this proven therapy
and the costs associated with it," said Dr. Moxness.
Nevertheless, rumours that EIBI is ineffective or even harmful have been
circulating in Quebec for just as long, promoted chiefly by one autism
specialist and a small group of self-identified experts who strongly
question the evidence or who profit from offering therapies that are
not supported by the scientific community.
In January, Montreal's La Presse newspaper published a series of articles on EIBI. Based on isolated cases, unfounded statements and even
misrepresentation of sources, those articles attacked EIBI's
effectiveness and cited challenges and irregularities in applying EIBI
as an argument for abandoning it altogether.
A resulting press release and editorial letter by a dozen Quebec-based autism experts, including Dr. Moxness,
systematically refuted the points made in the articles but received no
"Allowing these rumours to circulate unchecked could lead to parents
denying their children access to the most effective treatment and
justify a government policy that does not prioritize EIBI," said
Martine Beaurivage, WMRC director of Child and Family Services.
The Quebec government's published goal is to provide EIBI to only 40.5
percent of autistic children who need it.
It funds 800 children at a cost of $25 million a year, while Ontario
funds 1,440 children and spends more than $186.6 million a year.
In a UQÀM study of 180 parents currently underway, 89 percent said their
child had made "a lot of" or "enormous" progress since their child
began receiving EIBI.
A minimum of 20 EIBI hours per week is what the scientific literature
recommends. Rehabilitation centres in Quebec provide only 14 hours per
week, on average.
About West Montreal Readaptation Centre
West Montreal Readaptation Centre (WMRC) was one of the first rehabilitation centres in Quebec to develop
an EIBI program and has treated some 700 children since 2004. It
follows a rigorous clinical curriculum with measurable results and
oversees EIBI services to over 100 children with autism annually.
Katherine Moxness, Ph.D., is a departmental director and psychologist
who has worked with hundreds of people with autism for over 15 years
and was instrumental in lobbying for Law 21 to allow psychologists to
diagnose autism. Both Dr. Moxness and Martine Beaurivage have seen
dramatic improvements as a result of EIBI. Also a psychologist, Ms.
Beaurivage directs WMRC's Department of Child and Family Services and
is a member of several autism expert committees.
SOURCE WEST MONTREAL READAPTATION CENTRE
For further information:
West Montreal Readaptation Centre
514 363-3025, ext. 2208