Autism Funding Changes Draw Complaints

by San Veliz

The Progressive Conservative government has implemented a limit on funding for children with Autism. The PC government announced that children under six who are on the ASD spectrum will receive $20,000 a year and children over six will get $5000 dollars a year. The minister, Lisa Macleod, said the government made the changes to try to clear the backlog of children who were on a waiting list for funding.  The new government plan is set to have all children with ASD be eligible for funding regardless of the family income. The previous plan looked at how much the family was making in order to determine how much money a child and their family would receive if any.

Parents however have not been happy with the changes.

According to parents, costs of therapy, nutritionists, naturopaths, psychologists and other expenses such as specialized food, specialized programs add up to more than $100,000 a year per child. They add every child’s diagnosis is different, meaning each child would need different accommodations.

Parents, therapists and advocates are urging the government to rethink their decisions for its autism program.

“They (the government) have no idea what Autism is, nor do they understand how devastating it is to a family”. says Janice Yeun who is single mom with a son on the spectrum.

There will be an opportunity for parents and others to voice their concerns. Beginning on May 1st, the Ontario government will be launching a public consultation online, along with hosting telephone town halls.  This will be available for a month.

Parents like Martha Porras are hoping the government will take into account their concerns and changes they would like to see.

“They (the government) forget that the people elected them, the people can help them out”.

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