Simple Steps

Simple Steps

November 11, 2010 10:44 ET

Autism Families Given Fresh Hope

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND--(Marketwire - Nov. 11, 2010) -

Editors note: There is a photo included with this release.

Canadian families facing the heart-breaking daily struggle against autism have found fresh hope thanks to a pioneering online teaching-tool that makes support affordable for parents.

A study by Harvard University put the annual cost of autism to Canada's economy at $3.5 billion. With autism affecting 1 in 110 children, Simple Steps can transform millions of lives and ensure the support that parents desperately need is accessible, affordable, and sustainable.

So what is it? Simple Steps is leading the way in behavioural change by creating the world's first parent-led, interactive online teaching-tool. Building on the experiences of real families, the project unites the worlds of science, academia, charity, health, and innovation to introduce parents to Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) – the only scientifically validated treatment for autism.

The lifetime cost of caring for a family member with autism can soar to millions of dollars. By providing a much-needed boost in support, the tool helps to ease the strain on families and over-burdened health services. Although not designed to replace a qualified Behaviour Analyst, it offers parents the chance to embrace the challenge of ABA and create a brighter future for their child.

The interactive web-tool ( aims to help every child rise to their potential by giving parents affordable access to much-needed resources. With guidance from ABA experts, real-life footage, dynamic teaching animations, a supportive online community, and much more, members can take their first crucial steps to becoming 'parent-therapists' through e-learning.

Professor Lester Manley, Chairman of Simple Steps, said: "Simple Steps can revolutionise the autism sector in Canada and around the world. The program is unique and it is constantly evolving thanks to our members – we know what works for them because they tell us."

In addition to providing affordable and sustainable parent support, Simple Steps is dedicated to preserving the integrity of ABA, and reinvesting heavily in the autism sector.

Dr Tony Byrne, father of two children that have autism and Chairman of charity PEAT (Parents' Education as Autism Therapists), said: "This project is a fantastic development for the autism community. By using this online platform, millions of parents are just a click away from the help, guidance, and support that they so desperately need."

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