MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Melanie Penner, MD FRCP (C)
Clinician investigator and developmental pediatrician
Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Studies have shown that accessing intensive behavioral intervention (IBI) services at younger ages is associated with improved outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In Ontario, Canada, children wait years to access publicly-funded IBI. This analysis estimated costs and projected adult independence for three IBI wait time scenarios: the current wait time, a wait time reduced by half, and an eliminated wait time. The model inputs came from published literature.
The main findings showed that eliminating the wait time generated the most independence and cost the least amount of money to both the government and society. With no wait time for intensive behavioral intervention, the government would save $53,000 (2015 Canadian dollars per person) with autism spectrum disorder over their lifetime, and society would save $267,000 (2015 Canadian dollars).