LAUNCH OF AN IMPLEMENTATION GUIDE FOR A DIAGNOSTIC EVALUATION PROGRAM

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The See Things My Way (STMW) Assessment Centre, the ÉPAULARD Laboratory, and the Chaire DITC are pleased to announce the release of the Implementation Guide to an Evaluation Program for Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability and Global Developmental Delay for Children Between the Ages of 0-5 Years. This guide was designed and written by Marjorie Morin, Nadia Abouzeid, Mélina Rivard, Diane Morin, Mélanie Bolduc, Mali Blanchard Beauchement and Céline Mercier.

Why an Implementation Guide?

This guide is intended to support managers and health and social services professionals who wish to set up a diagnostic evaluation clinic in their region, for children ages five and under who have developmental delays and difficulties which may be related to Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability or Global Developmental Delay. This guide proposes a four-phase approach and implementation tools that are based on the hands-on experience of the STMW assessment centre.

The Importance of Reducing Wait Times in Getting a Diagnosis

A study commissioned by the Miriam Foundation and carried out in collaboration with McKinsey & Company in 2014 showed that more than 1,000 children in Quebec could wait up to three years to obtain a diagnosis of Autism, Intellectual Disability or Global Developmental Delay. This diagnosis is the key to accessing specialized public services for early intervention.

Building on the Success of the STMW Assessment Centre

The STMW assessment centre was set up in 2015 following an agreement between the Miriam Foundation, the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) and the National Institute of Excellence in Health and Social Services (INESSS) to improve access to diagnostic assessment services for children aged 0 to 5 years in Montreal. As of March 2020, this interdisciplinary centre has completed more than 1,100 assessments related to the diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability or Global Developmental Delay.

The success of the evaluation centre was brought to light by an evaluation carried out by an external research team. A high satisfaction rate among families who received services at the center was revealed, as well as appropriate implementation of the program components. This research led to findings and recommendations that have already enabled the STMW assessment centre to improve its program. Thanks to the implementation guide, other centers or service providers could draw inspiration from the facilitators that made the STMW assessment centre successful. This could also allow for the proactive planning of solutions to overcome the anticipated challenges.

How to access the guide?

You can download the guide by clicking here.

Special Thanks

The members of the research team would like to thank the individuals and organizations who made the publication of this document possible: the families who received services from the centre; the members of the See Things My Way assessment team; research assistants, namely Malena Argumedes, Mali Blanchard-Beauchemin, Mélanie Bolduc, Charlotte Magnan-Tremblay, Justine Grenier-Martin, Catalina Mejia Cardenas, Marie Millau and Dona Roy; the Miriam Foundation; the Marcelle and Jean Coutu Foundation; the MSSS; INESSS and partners; members of the various committees surrounding the project; Cécile Bardon; graphic designer Christine St-Onge. Thanks also to the research assistants who joined us since the first year of the project and who continue to make the STMY project a success: Carlos Sanchez, Corinne Rochefort, Lucie Chauvel, Émilie Giordano, Josiane Lefrançois, Bouchera Belhadj, Claudia Hernandez Perez , Sophie Camard, Coralie St-André.

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