In a comment this morning I reported on the pressure being exerted by bureaucrats on Education Minister Lamrock to break the pledge made by then opposition leader Shawn Graham during the election campaign - to provide autism specific training at UNB-CEL to 100 Teacher Assistants and Resource teachers a year for the next four years. If Premier Graham and Minister Lamrock cave in to the bureaucrats they will be going along with the same department which has resisted all attempts to include autistic children in a real learning experience during the past seven years. They will also be replicating the actions of Ontario Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty.
Seeking election as Premier Mr. McGuinty promised Ontario parents in writing that he would, if elected, lift the 6 year age cap on funded autism treatment. Once elected the good Premier reversed himself and even fought parents in court to who were arguing to have the cap lifted on the grounds of age and disability discrimination. Eventually the cap was lifted somewhat but the ABA therapists necessary to implement the ABA therapy which is crucial for so many autistic children to learn were not permitted to enter the school system for that purpose.
It is not clear yet whether the Shawn Graham Liberal government will capitulate to the bureaucrats and break the Premier's pledge to the Autism Society and to Autistic children but the Liberals are clearly wavering. It seems that when it comes to breaking campaign pledges autistic children are seen as easy pickings for bureaucrats at least. Hopefully Premier Graham and Minister Lamrock do not give autistic children in New Brunswick the McGuinty Treatment.