Malcolm Stanley is the father of an autistic child, and a Canadian autism advocate who moved from Ontario to Pennsylvania for economic and business reasons. In an article in the Toronto Star, U.S. can teach us how to care for autistic kids he has compared and contrasted the autism intervention services available for autistic children in Pennsylvania with those available in Ontario. And Ontario comes out on the short end of the stick. Malcolm is a parent autism advocate who is very well informed by family experience and by his involvement in autism advocacy. He knows what he is talking about.
The only criticism I have with his opinion piece is that he generalizes his experience in Pennsylvania to that of the United States as a whole and similarly generalizes from Ontario to all of Canada. From what I have read the situation he has described in Pennsylvania of full autism intervention service provision does not exist in most American states. Canada is in fact a patchwork of autism service provision varying greatly from province to province as Malcolm describes but Ontario, Canada's largest province, and a leader in many areas, has been anything but a leader in provision of autism services.
Despite the above mild criticism Malcolm's comments hit home, Canada which offers government provided medical services, sees fit to exclude autism treatment from the list of medical services provided. Our Supreme Court of Canada, in Auton, ruled that it was OK for government to exclude autism treatment from medical service coverage. The Court effectively ruled that there is no substantive right to medical treatment in Canada and that what medical treatments are provided is a matter for governments to decide.
Malcolm Stanley's comment should be read by all with a serious interest in treating and helping persons with autism disorders overcome their disorders or at least improve to the maximum extent possible. Hopefully someday the federal government, and provincial governments like Ontario, will listen to Malcolm Stanley and the other parents, family members and caregivers who actually care and start providing funded applied behavior analysis for autistic children and adults.