Building capacity to support the Inclusive Education of Children and Youth with Autism
- New Brunswick Provincial Autism Training (PAT)
- New Brunswick Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
- Country of Implementation
- North America
- Province of New Brunswick
- Start Year
- First published
“The Provincial Autism Training framework has allowed schools to have access to competent professionals in the field of applied behaviour analysis.” Donna Lagacy, Education Support Services Coordinator, Anglophone East School District
In 2012, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD) introduced the New Brunswick Provincial Autism Training (PAT). PAT is a programme to support preschool and other education personnel, families, and service providers in gaining the skills required to meet the needs of preschool aged children, and students within an inclusive educational context. Through online learning and onsite coaching, professionals learn how to implement inclusive and evidence-based practices from preschool to high school. In 2019, 594 parents and 1,871 professionals, as well as external partners completed the training.
In order for children with autism to be successfully included within the classroom and school context, it is essential that personnel have the necessary knowledge and skills.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
The PAT programme supports preschool agencies in meeting the standards for the delivery of intensive intervention services for preschool children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The programme is made up of three levels of training, with introductory training being delivered to educators, parents, and service providers, and more advanced training for professionals designing and overseeing programs for learners with autism. It is a government service delivered through the Department of EECD, which includes funding for educators to become Board Certified Behavior Analyst. In addition, the Department has contracted one agency that delivers services in each of the seven school districts for children who have not yet started school. The introductory level of training, ASD & Behavioural Interventions, is an online training programme offered to preschool autism agency and education personnel as well as to the parents of children with autism. It allows participants to gain a better understanding of the strengths and needs of learners with ASD, as well as evidence-based teaching practices and interventions. The second level, Learning for Teaching, is an advanced training programme designed for behaviour consultants, clinical supervisors (preschool agencies), and education support teachers. It helps professionals assess, develop, and implement interventions in key areas to address the unique needs of learners with ASD. The third level, Continuing Education, helps those wishing to acquire new skills and knowledge of best practices, and offers professional learning opportunities through webinars and workshops.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
All funds are provided by EECD. Preschool autism agencies receive funding upon confirmation that their employees have completed the introductory online training. The annual budget for the PAT programme is $940,000. The Department plans to expand the training offerings for families and day care centres, and to provide advanced training to educators to teach functional skills to further support learners in reaching their postsecondary goals.