Monday, April 16, 2007

Residential Care, Treatment, Needed for New Brunswick Autistic Youths, Adults

In New Brunswick much progress has been made for pre-school autistic children. Some funding is now available for evidence based autism interventions and agencies have been established, and measures implemented, to provide accountability in delivery of intervention services. Improvements are also starting to be made to provide autism trained teacher assistants and resource teachers to provide autistic school children with a real education. But for youths and adults with autism who are in need of decent, competent residential care and treatment nothing has changed since the fall of 2005. That was when Canada became aware that New Brunswick is so lacking in residential facilites with properly trained personnel and in treatment for autistic youths and adults that we truly literally house some of our autistic residents on the grounds of penal institutions. There has been a provincial election in the period since 2005 and a new governing team is just now getting its full grip on the reins of power. Nonetheless the time is long overdue for New Brunswick to start providing decent residential care and treatment for its autistic youths and adults - right here in New Brunswick.

Autistic boy kept in New Brunswick jail

No other place for him to stay

13-year-old must go to U.S. hospital


HALIFAX—A 13-year-old autistic boy now living in a New Brunswick jail compound will be sent out of Canada because there is no home, hospital or institution that can handle him in his own province.

Provincial officials confirmed yesterday the boy is living in a visitor's apartment at the Miramichi Youth Centre and will be moved to a treatment centre in Maine by November.

They stressed he is not under lock and key, has no contact with other inmates and is living outside the high wire fence that surrounds the youth detention centre.

Nevertheless, the jailhouse placement and the transfer to Maine have outraged mental health advocates and opposition critics.

"They put this boy in a criminal facility because he is autistic," said Harold Doherty, a board member of the Autism Society of New Brunswick.

"Now we are exporting our children because we can't care for them. This is Canada, not a Third World country.

``We are supposed to have a decent standard of care for the sick and the vulnerable, but we don't."

Liberal MLA John Foran echoed his concern. "This boy has done nothing wrong, is not the subject of any court order, but is in a penal institution." ........

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