MONTREAL, Jan. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Autism experts from the Université du
Québec à Montréal (UQÀM), the Quebec Association for Behaviour Analysis
(QcABA), West Montreal Readaptation Centre (WMRC), the Clinique
d'approche béhaviorale en autisme (C-ABA), the Abe Gold Learning and
Research Centre and Cocon Development today denounced recent articles
in Quebec's La Presse newspaper as giving an inaccurate and misleading view of the reality
and benefits of Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBI), or intervention comportementale intensive (ICI) in French.
"Several sources quoted by La Presse knowingly discounted the extensive research showing EIBI to be an
effective and comprehensive approach to promoting the skills
development of younger children with autism in all domains of daily
living," said Marc Lanovaz, president of the QcABA and advisor,
planning and programming, research and knowledge transfer for WMRC.
"This controversial, Quebec-based minority does not base itself on
scientific literature, and the North American scientific community
would disagree with them," said Dr. Katherine Moxness, director of
professional services for WMRC and adjunct professor in educational and counselling psychology at McGill
University. "Quebec's current EIBI approach for children with autism
spectrum disorders is in keeping with all other jurisdictions in North
Certain sources quoted by La Presse questioned the effectiveness of EIBI, the cost of providing it, the
wait times for receiving it, the inconsistent application of the
therapy, supposedly inadequate training and a lack of EIBI regulation
"The inaccuracies in this article are very disappointing," said Dr.
Nathalie Poirier, a professor in psychology at UQÀM and a psychologist
for C-ABA, "such as my supposedly saying that educators receive only
three days of training in EIBI, when I teach and helped to develop the
30-credit certificate for educators and the 30-credit diploma for EIBI
supervisors, as part of the Plan national de formation en troubles
envahissants du développement.
"As for my maintaining that rehabilitation centres do `whatever they
want,'" continued Dr. Poirier, "I seriously question whether the other
sources were misquoted as badly as I was."
"The article gives the false impression EIBI is controversial among
parents and that parents are dissatisfied with it, while our research
strongly indicates that, on the contrary, the vast majority of parents
whose children receive EIBI notice progress in their children and
attribute that progress to EIBI," said Dr. Catherine Des Rivières,
professor at UQÀM.
"While there should be a more consistent application of EIBI
province-wide, it's dangerous to question its validity without offering
any scientific data or alternative solution," said Dr. Nathalie Garcin,
executive director of the Abe Gold Research and Learning Centre. "With
regard to the cost of services, Quebec spends less and offers fewer
hours of direct service to individuals with autism spectrum disorders
than other provinces. For instance, Ontario offers up to 40 hours per
"I have written a detailed letter to the journalist in question because
the number of EIBI hours provided to children with autism in Quebec is
nowhere near enough, and if it's expensive, it's nowhere near the
social costs that the province will have to bear if we do not provide
it," said Dr. Marie Giroux, a family doctor and mother of a child with
"As a parent and a professional, I have witnessed the substantial
progress an intensive and adapted behavioural intervention can have on
the ability of children with autism to communicate and socialize," said
Gisela Regli, founder of Cocon Development and co-founder of the QcABA.
"In Quebec, the parent whose child has just received an autism diagnosis
is faced with a multitude of possible interventions and professional
opinions, and that just makes it harder for them," said Ms. Sylvie
Bernard, director of the C-ABA. Ms. Sylvie Donais, a psychologist with
the same clinic, agreed: "It's not because each child reacts
differently to EIBI that its effectiveness should be questioned, but
rather that more clinical research should be undertaken to find the
best intervention for sub-groups of children with autism."
"It is time for a real debate on this issue in Quebec, so that the many
evidence-based findings on the effectiveness of EIBI can be
disseminated and the public made aware of them, and to end this
pointless denigration of an intervention that is of significant help to
hundreds of children," said Dr. Normand Giroux of Cocon Development,
which offers bilingual software to measure the daily progress of
children on the autism spectrum, and professor at UQÀM.
Based on Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), EIBI consists of intensive,
one-on-one therapy aiming to develop the skills of a child with autism
in the domains of daily living, communication, language (expressive and
receptive), play, social interaction, etc.
West Montreal Readaptation Centre
West Montreal Readaptation Centre (WMRC) is a rehabilitation centre for people with an intellectual disability or
pervasive developmental disorder.
The centre provides habilitation, rehabilitation, residential and
community integration services in English and French to some 600
children and close to 1,000 adults. It provides EIBI to some 100
With its head office in Lachine, WMRC also operates a specialized
children's facility in Beaconsfield and a great number of specialized
resources across Montreal's West Island and elsewhere. It employs over
400 people. www.crom-wmrc.ca
SOURCE WEST MONTREAL READAPTATION CENTRE
For further information:
Abe Gold Research and Learning Centre
Nathalie Garcin, Ph.D. 514 345-8330
Sylvie Bernard, Ph.D.
Sylvie Donais, Ph.D.
Nathalie Poirier, Ph.D.
Normand Giroux, Ph.D.
Marie Giroux, MD
819 346-1110, ext. 14273
Québec Association for Behaviour Analysis (QcABA)
Marc Lanovaz, M.Sc., BCBA
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM)
Catherine Des Rivières, Ph.D.
514 987-3000, ext. 2534
West Montreal Readaptation Centre (WMRC)
Katherine Moxness, Ph.D.
514 363-3025, ext. 2208