Families living with autism to benefit from new degree program offered at Capilano University

    NORTH VANCOUVER, BC, June 5 /CNW/ - Individuals and families living with
autism and related developmental disorders, such as Asperger's Syndrome and
anorexia, will benefit from the new bachelor of arts degree in applied
behavioural analysis - autism (ABA-A) that will be offered at Capilano
University in September 2009.
    This will be the first baccalaureate degree of this type offered in
Western Canada. The ABA-A program will be accepting 20 students per year who
have an associate of arts degree with a concentration in psychology.
    "We are extremely grateful to the Ministry of Advanced Education and
Labour Market Development for its recognition of the need for a degree in this
area," said Dr. Jackie Snodgrass, Capilano University's vice president of
education, academic and arts programs. "We would also like to acknowledge the
financial support received from the Minerva Foundation, generously sponsored
by the John Gordon Autism Foundation, to provide bursaries for students in the
ABA-A program."
    Additional support will come from the Capilano University Foundation,
which has received $16,000 in unrestricted funds for allocation to ABA-A
students. The Foundation is actively seeking additional funding to offset
costs for students through program support and/or bursaries directly to
    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is now the most common childhood
developmental or neurological disorder in the country, affecting more than
5,000 children and youth in B.C. alone. Capilano's program will include a
practical component so that families can count on a steady pool of motivated
students to work with their children.
    The degree program was conceived by Capilano University psychology
faculty members Dr. Cara Zaskow and Dr. Ellen Domm, who started working on the
proposal in the spring of 2006.
    "Cara and Ellen deserve a lot of credit for their degree proposal, which
has the potential to have a hugely positive impact on families living with
children with developmental disabilities," Snodgrass said. "I'm extremely
proud of our faculty who identified a need and put in the hard work to develop
a program to meet that need."
    Students will find employment through the growing number of agencies
providing ABA services to families with autistic children. Graduates may also
work with schools or in private practice with board certified behavior
analysts as assistant consultants and lead therapists.
    For more information, please contact Dr. Cara Zaskow at 604.986.1911,
local 2464 or e-mail czaskow@capilanou.ca. Or call Dr. Ellen Domm at
604.986.1911, local 2522 or e-mail edomm@capilanou.ca.

For further information:

For further information: Capilano University: Dr. Cara Zaskow, (604)
986-1911, local 2464, Cell: (778) 688-0467, E-mail: czaskow@capilanou.ca; Dr.
Ellen Domm, (604) 986-1911, local 2522, E-mail: edomm@capilanou.ca; Dr. Robert
Campbell, dean of arts and sciences, (604) 984-4976, E-mail:

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