Ontario Families & Advocates Protest Autism Program Changes

This past week, hundreds of families and advocates of children with autism protested at the Ontario legislature to plead with the government to reverse changes they say will leave kids without the therapy they need.

Children, Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod announced last month that in order to clear a waiting list of 23,000 children, kids with autism would receive direct funding to pay for treatment.

Families will get up to $20,000 per year for treatment for children under six and $5,000 a year for children six to 18, but intensive therapy can cost up to $80,000 a year.

Parents are calling for the funding to be based on children’s individual needs, instead of just their age.

From the stories of the individuals this effects, it appears that many individuals will be severely underfunded for support.

While these changes are specific to Ontario and don\’t impact the individuals we serve in BC, we really feel for the individuals. Getting the right level of support is critical for development in children. It is sad to see that appropriate funding isn\’t being allocated based on need. We can only hope that the voices of these individuals are being heard and something is done to resolve the situation for those in need.

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