Kitchener-Waterloo

KidsAbility CEO welcomes province regulating ABA therapists for autism treatment

The provincial government says it plans to regulate ABA therapists. KidsAbility CEO Linda Kenny says they welcome the news and look forward to taking part in consultations this fall.

Province 'acting on the clear direction' from parents and providers, minister says

A child watches a video with an applied behaviour analysis (ABA) clinician at a private clinic in Montreal in this file photo. The Ontario government says it will regulate people who provide ABA therapy in the province. (CBC)

The CEO of KidsAbilty in Waterloo region says she welcomes news the province will regulate clinicians who provide applied behaviour analysis, which is used to treat people with autism.

The province announced Tuesday it will begin consultations on regulating ABA therapy this fall and KidsAbility CEO Linda Kenny says they look forward to taking part in those discussions.

"We support the direction that services for children with autism will be subject to the same rigorous standards of other health professionals providing pediatric rehabilitation," Kenny said. 

"Introduction of regulation will provide even better outcomes for children, youth and their families."

Minister of Children, Community and Social Services Todd Smith said he's working on the "clear direction we've received from experts and families of children with autism" as they look at how to regulate ABA clinicians.

Autism Canada says ABA therapy looks at how a person learns, then teaches social, motor, and verbal behaviours and reasoning skills. There are several tools the therapy uses to help the person with autism learn skills and behaviours.

"Parents who are choosing a behavioural clinician deserve to have peace of mind knowing they are choosing from qualified professionals," Smith said in a release.

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