Our story begins in 2010, when we started to have concerns that our two-year-old son was not developing speech and social skills as his older brothers had. In the following months, as more family, preschool teachers, and ultimately our doctors began to support our concerns we realized it was important to pursue a formal assessment. With little direction, but believing knowledge is power, we started to educate ourselves by reading books and Internet articles, quickly learning time was of the essence. Our son was added to a 14-month waitlist for assessment, so we immediately started investigating other options. To obtain a quicker diagnosis, we travelled over 750 km to Vancouver to receive a private assessment; this was our closest option. On January 20th, 2011, our son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and our lives were changed forever.
Following the diagnosis, we did not know where to turn. We called anyone with a connection to autism; friends of family, even complete strangers, hoping someone would show us a clear roadmap forward to help our son. Resources were unaligned and fragmented at best, and non-existent at worst. There was certainly no single service or individual that could assist us with navigating the needs of our newly diagnosed son. As a parent, wanting the very best for our child, that was an incredibly helpless and lonely feeling.
Jordan Oliver, Co-founder
As we researched, we learned that an Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) program supervised by a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) was considered the most recognized, respected, and effective treatment for autism. As we continued our journey, we found the nearest Behaviour Analyst was based in Dawson Creek, over 400 km away. We spent most of the following year renovating our spare bedroom into a therapy classroom and setting up a home-based ABA program. Our BCBA trained several Behaviour Interventionists, including our sister, Leigh Thibault, who at the time was completing her undergraduate degree.
Throughout the next number of years, we have witnessed the benefits of ABA and how it has changed our family’s life. Thanks to intensive ABA therapy, our son not only attends school full time, but also excels! He participates in extra-curricular activities, including rock climbing, swimming, and piano lessons! When we first received the diagnosis, it was difficult to envision his future. Now we have new dreams for him and so does he!
Leigh Thibault, MSc, BCBA, Category A Behaviour Consultant, Co-founder and Clinical Director
I always knew my future would involve working with families in need, but it wasn't until 2011, when my nephew was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder that my path became clear. At the time, I was completing my Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from Vancouver Island University and knew very little, if anything, about autism. That said, I realized I wanted to specialize in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), so I could help my nephew, my family, and all the other families going through the ups and downs I saw my own family experiencing.
After working as the lead Behaviour Interventionist for my nephew’s ABA program, and witnessing the lack of resources for families in the north, I knew I had an incredible chance to make an impact on so many lives. I have since had the opportunity to work with amazing children, youth, and young adults with a variety of exceptionalities in long-term residential care, school, and home settings across BC. In 2014, I decided to pursue a Masters of Science specializing in Behaviour Analysis from Saint Joseph’s University, with the intention of becoming a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst; a distinction I successfully earned in 2017.
My personal connection to autism and my extensive training to be a BCBA allows me a unique perspective on treating ASD in a family setting. It is not a quick and easy fix. It requires focused and long-term commitment. Most importantly, though, scientific literature indicates an overwhelming majority of children on the autism spectrum receive substantial gains from intensive ABA therapy. I feel very privileged to be able to play a role in these essential steps for your child and family.
Together, Jordan, Jason, and I co-founded Gateway Behaviour Services with the sole objective of providing access to local and provincial resources so individuals and their families living with ASD can dream of bright futures. It would be our sincere honour to assist your family on your autism journey.
Gateway Behaviour Services is proud to partner with Pacific Autism and offer ABA programming within the Prince George spoke.
In 2014, with the announcement of the Pacific Autism Family Network hub and spoke model, we, the co-founders of Gateway Behaviour Services, immediately recognized the potential to link Prince George to the extensive resources of a larger centre of excellence. We have since had the pleasure of working directly with Wendy and Sergio Cocchia, founders of Pacific Autism, and their dynamic team to establish the much-needed resource centre in Prince George; a place to turn to, a place to call our own, a GATEWAY to behaviour services for the north.
Leigh Thibault, Jason & Jordan Oliver Co-founders of Gateway Behaviour Services
#218 - 1811 Victoria Street Prince George, BC V2L 2L6 (250) 645-0996 email@example.com