Sunday, December 02, 2007

Autism Disappointment In Alberta

In Great expectations Calgary Sun reporter Tarina White reports on the disappointment facing families migrating to Alberta in search of well funded autism services in oil rich Alberta. She reports that, while Alberta may look best for autism services on paper, the reality is much different with long waits for services and few professionals to provide the services. Some families don't qualify for treatment and for some who do the service provided is not always. Families also face the same 6 year age cut off for services that exists in other Canadian provinces.

Add the stress of moving, leaving family, friends and support networks, finding work, and the cost of living and the Alberta Autism Dream may turn in to a nightmare for many families.


Maya M said...

To me, the people who have mandated the 6 year age cut off have no understanding of autism and no respect of autistics. Their logic is, "Let's provide services for all toddlers under suspicion for autism. This early intervention will bring some of them out of the spectrum. Some not, unfortunately. Those who at age 6 are still autistic are likely to remain so for life. They are lost and we need not spend resources on them."
To my opinion, services for older children are even more important than for younger ones, because not all young autistic children are good learners. The age period 1.5 - 2.5, considered (for unknown reasons) crucial for early intervention, was the regression - stasis period for my son. During it, he didn't learn a single thing that was taught to him. All teaching/training/therapy attempts resulted only in unnecessary tantrums and damaged relationships. If my younger child develops the same way, I'll know better.

Anonymous said...

Whoever wrote this article is misinformed. I moved to Alberta from Ontario, and we have services here till the child is 18. It is reviewed annually, but if your child has classic autism, they qualify. At the age of 6, 20 out of 40 hours are cut due to being school aged. But they still have an additional (up to) 20 hours per week ON TOP OF an amazing school system that FAR surpasses anything we saw in Ontario.
Karyn with sweet boy Aidan