• Treatment Philosophy

Treatment Philosophy

All programs at Society for Treatment of Autism utilize the principles of behaviour modification therapy (Applied Behavioural Analysis) within an activity-based curriculum.  Individual programs focus on skill development within a variety of functional areas, including Behaviour, Communication, Socialization, Play/Recreation/Vocational, Foundation Skills/School Readiness, Self Help/Adaptive Functioning. All programs are designed to maximize each individual’s potential.


The programs and services provided by Society for Treatment of Autism are:

individualized to meet the needs of each individual and family we serve, evidence-based, developmentally appropriate, and family-centered.  The techniques and strategies employed represent the most natural/least restrictive alternative sufficient enough to promote positive change.  Family members are encouraged to actively participate in all aspects of programming and ongoing training/support is provided.

When an individual enters one of our programs, a functional assessment of strengths and needs is completed. This typically involves: observation, file review, objective data collection, discussion with parents/caregivers, and, when warranted, standardized testing.  Prioritized programming goals are established by the parents/guardians with the assistance of the multidisciplinary team.

As for treatment, we utilize least intrusive methods, and reinforce the individual’s attempts and successes, all within a framework of behaviour modification therapy and the principles of applied behavioural analysis.  Maladaptive behaviours are addressed by teaching the individual alternative behaviours that serve the same function.  When appropriate, positive behaviour support plans are developed which outline: proactive strategies to reduce the likelihood of less desirable behaviours being displayed; as well as a reactive procedure to employ when targeted behaviours are observed.

We emphasize the importance of functional social-communicative skills for all individuals, while considering the most appropriate mode of communication.  Visual supports are an integral part of our programming, and are individualized to fit the needs of the person and family.  Communication is taught within the context of reciprocal social interactions, with a focus on initiation, developing a broad base of communicative functions, and ensuring that all goals and supports meet the individual at their communicative level.

Activity-based learning involves taking advantage of natural learning opportunities throughout the day to teach skills in a “fun” and natural manner.  Utilizing least intrusive prompting methods ensures that the individual is given ample opportunity to respond independently before assistance is provided.

Individuals enrolled in one of our programs may receive consultation from members of our multidisciplinary team, including

•    Psychologists/Provisional Psychologists/Behavioural Consultants
•    Speech-Language Pathologists
•    Occupational Therapists
•    Teachers
•    Social Workers

Typically, these services consist of establishing goals, objectives and therapeutic approaches as well as the ongoing monitoring of progress.  All clinicians, where appropriate, are registered under the Health Professions Act and are members in good standing with provincial regulatory bodies. The work of Behavioural Consultants and Provisional Psychologists is supervised by a Registered Psychologist.  The work of the Occupational Therapists, Speech-Language Pathologists and the Teachers is supported by Assistants.