A Comparative Analysis of Community-Based Service Providers for "Extreme" Case ASD: Exploring Activity Program Options
The purpose of my research was to examine how community-based organizations in the Niagara region provide programs for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), who are considered to represent “extreme” or “severe” cases. A qualitative, comparative case study was conducted that focused on three organizations who provide summer recreation and activity programs, in order to examine the issues these organizations face when determining program structure and staff training; and to understand what the threshold for physical activity is in this type of setting, and how the unique needs surrounding these “severe” cases are met while attending the program. Purposeful sampling was employed to select a supervisor and senior staff member from each organization to discuss the training process, program development and implementation, and the resources and strategies used within their organization’s community-based program. A confirming comparative analysis was comparative analysis of a parents survey with six mothers whose children are considered “severe” indicated that camp staffs’ expectations are unrealistic where as the parents and supervisors have more realistic expectations within the “real world” of camp. There is no definition of “severe” or “extreme” and therefore severity is dependent upon the context.