A Balanced Approach Expands Autism Services To Muskoka

A Balanced Approach
Graphic courtesy of A Balanced Approach

A Balanced Approach has been offering home-based autism therapy since 2001, and now, their services are available to children and families across Muskoka.

Owner Kathie Shaw founded A Balanced Approach in 2001, offering services in and around Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge. The company offers individualized plans based on the principles of applied behaviour analysis (ABA), a common therapeutic approach for people with autism. It was able to expand to Muskoka through a partnership with the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) and its Workforce Capacity Fund, which was introduced by the province in 2021. As a qualified OAP provider, A Balanced Approach is ready to take on new clients, and its team is also looking to coordinate with other local agencies to better serve the community.

“We are taking a compassionate step forward by extending our services to another region that has historically been underserved,” said Samantha Shipley, a board-certified behaviour analyst and clinical lead at A Balanced Approach. “This expansion reflects the company’s commitment to inclusivity and its dedication to supporting individuals with unique needs, ensuring they receive the specialized care and attention they deserve.”

The ABA services at A Balanced Approach help clients develop functional communication, emotional regulation, self-help, social, play and cognitive skills. The company also offers consultation to parents and schools to help better support autistic children and their learning needs.

Samantha Shipley, clinical lead at A Balanced Approach
Samantha Shipley, clinical lead at A Balanced Approach. Photo courtesy of A Balanced Approach

Shipley has been with A Balanced Approach since 2012 and acting as their clinical lead since August 2018. She recently moved to the area and is excited to bring her expertise to Muskoka. She hopes the expansion will bridge existing gaps and provide holistic support to local autistic children and their families. 

“With a deep understanding of the unique needs of autistic children, A Balanced Approach’s dedicated team of professionals will employ evidence-based practices and innovative approaches to maximize each child’s potential,” she said. “By offering individualized plans and a supportive environment, A Balanced Approach will empower autistic children to develop essential skills, foster independence, and improve their overall quality of life.”

A Balanced Approach is hosting drop-in information sessions from 1 to 3 p.m. on March 17 and 9 to 11 a.m. on March 18. Families can stop by the Adventure Room at the Bracebridge Sportsplex, located at 110 Clearbrook Trail, to meet the team and learn more about their services.

The company can help guide families through new diagnoses, including an intake assessment to determine what services are best suited to each child. They can also provide personalized plans that include early intervention programs, therapeutic interventions, and educational resources for children and families at all points in their diagnoses. 

Shipley said working with the team at A Balanced Approach has been deeply rewarding. Having the opportunity to witness their impact on autistic children in Ontario, including everything “from small steps to significant milestones,” reaffirms the importance of the work they do.

“Expanding to Muskoka fills us with hope and excitement,” she said. “Being able to reach more children and families, including those who have been patiently waiting on the waitlist, is a tremendous opportunity. We are dedicated to empowering every child to flourish, and this expansion allows us to do that.”

To learn more about A Balanced Approach, check out the company’s website, contact Samantha Shipley at office.manager@abawaterloo.ca or 519-257-8259, or attend drop-in information sessions at the Bracebridge Sportsplex on March 17 and 18.

This post is sponsored by A Balanced Approach.


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