8 years ago the lead Minister on autism issues being examined by a government of New Brunswick InterDepartmental Committee on Autism Services was the Health Minister. When funding for autism specific services was first announced it was by the Health Minister. Then the programs and leadership on the autism portfolio were transferred to the Department of Family and Community Services. The Province of New Brunswick, like other governments, did not want to acknowledge that autism interventions, particularly Applied Behaviour Analysis sought by so many parents of autistic children, were health care treatments. Autism interventions were characterized as family services to avoid having them characterized as health care treatments and reduce the possibility that a court might order them to be funded under Canada's medicare scheme. As it turned out they needn't have worried. The Auton decision was such that, medical treatment or not, Provinces would not be obligated to fund them under Medicare.The conference this weekend will focus on autism as a medical condition, biomedical treatments , " the shift in autism paradigm to a whole-body systems approach" and current research.
The Autism Canada web site sets out the full particulars, invites registration on their web site and identifies their target audience as parents, agencies, school personnel, medical professionals, basic research scientists and others dedicated to improving the quality of life for those with ASD.