Province Fully Funds EIBI Program

April 25, 2013

The province wants families with autistic children to know that it continues to fully fund the Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention (EIBI) program. 

“Contrary to information that was circulating yesterday by the official Opposition, provincial funding for this invaluable program is, in fact, $8 million,” said Premier Darrell Dexter. “We are committed to enhancing programs and services for people and families living with autism to ensure they receive the best possible treatment, support and care.” 

Half of the $8 million in funding is included in the 2013-14 provincial budget as part of the total budget for district health authorities, the IWK Health Centre and Nova Scotia Hearing and Speech Centres. The other half has been phased in.

“We know that programs like Early Intensive Behaviourial Intervention make a difference,” said Jocelyn Vine, vice-president of patient care for the IWK. “We are pleased that government continues to fund this program which has proven invaluable to families living with autism.”

In 2011, the province released one of the most comprehensive plans to help children through the Early Intensive Behaviourial Intervention program and did away with a random draw. It is now available to all eligible children before starting school. The number of children seen by the program has continued to increase from 47 in 2011 to 143 in September 2012. 

“We are very pleased that government has honoured its commitment to increase funding to $8 million annually,” said Cynthia Carroll, executive director of Autism Nova Scotia. “This ensures that all children who qualify for this program will have access to treatment after diagnosis under the age of five years. It is a positive step forward for families and people living with autism.”

Early Intensive Behaviourial Intervention works to improve functional skills including communications, social skills and behaviour, so children with autism can better communicate and interact with their families, classmates and community.