My son FINALLY started IBI yesterday! Even better, he loves it! IBI is the “be all and end all” of therapy for children with Autism. Unfortunately, not all children qualify for IBI but my son met all the requirements to qualify, so then we were placed on the standard waitlist in the Autism field. The technical definition of IBI (according to KidsAbility) is a program that…
- uses systematic behavioural teaching methods
- has clearly defined strategies & goals
- is individualized to the needs of each child
- incorporates changes based upon direct measurement of each child’s learning
Basically, this means that my son will benefit from 21 hours PER WEEK for at least a YEAR of a combination of one-on-one and small group interactions with speech therapy, behavioural therapy, and occupational therapy. When he finishes the program (ie: he’s met all the markers along the way to continue his developmental progress), there is a 6-month reintegration program in full-time school. This means, he is now attending IBI 3 days per week in the nearby city, and is at school 2 days per week for Grade 1. IBI is considered by the Board of Education to be his primary instruction so he will receive a special code instead of being “absent” from class.
InOntario, IBI is offered as a Direct Service Option or Direct Funding Option. Because I don’t have the $70,000 extra to select the DFO option that was offered to him in May (the government does reimburse a small percentage of that but still…), moving back to my small town meant that my son was moved up the waitlist for the DSO option as his diagnosis date was in 2007, and in the new region, they were working with children with diagnosis dates in 2009.
Waitlists are “normal” in this field. Ironically, when he qualified for IBI 3 years ago, I just *knew* that he would be starting IBI at the beginning of Grade 1 and, thankfully, that is exactly what happened. He’s “ready” for it now. His verbal and written (via his iPad) communication has been cascading since we moved. He’s become even more aware of what’s going on around him, and the routines that are natural to others…and therefore are starting to become more natural to him too. He’s using echolalia now, and is mimicking things and people around him.
Even better, he gets excited whenever I mention KidsAbility, which is where he receives IBI.
In fact, last night, my daughter even said:
Daughter: “Mommy, I wish I had Autism.”
Me: “Pardon? Why hunny?”
Daughter: “Because then I could go play at KidsAbility too.”
I’m so happy that BOTH of my kids are excited about my son starting IBI. He’s ready, he’s willing, and he’s excited! Can’t get much better than that!
PS – I would love to hear about your journey with getting services for your child with Autism, positive AND negative. If there are enough people who would like to share, I would love to start a guest post series on my blog. Message me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested. We all have different stories to offer, and I want to help facilitate communication.