Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Ontario's Brutal Autism Reality, For Autistic Children It's Not A Place to Stand and Grow

Give us a place to stand And a place to grow
And call this land Ontario.
A place to live
For you and me
With hopes as high
As the tallest tree.
Give us a land of lakes
and a land of snow
And we will build Ontario A place to stand, a place to grow
Ontari-ari-ari-o !

From western hills,
To northern shores.
To Niagara Falls,
Where the waters roar.
Give us a land of peace,
Where the free winds blow.
And we will build Ontario A place to stand, a place to grow

Dolores Claman and Richard Morris, A Place to Stand

If they think of autism in Ontario the three anti ABA amigos, Morton Ann Gernsbacher, Michelle Dawson and Dr. Laurent Mottron. must be very, very happy. In the province where I attended high school (General Panet High School, Petawawa), and worked for several years (Ottawa, Toronto), ABA services for autistic children are in such a state that many autistic children miss out on the chance for optimum development in the preschool years. Barry Hudson, a well informed father of an autistic child active in autism advocacy, described in a recent comment to me the situation in the province which was once, but is no longer for autistic children, a place to stand and a place to grow:

"In terms of how things are for services in Ontario they have actually gotten worse since your last post about Ontario. I have seen letters newly diagnosed parents have received from the Ministry responsible for ASD therapy funding (post diagnosis) and they are being told now that funding for therapy can be 3 – 4 years, add the wait for diagnosis (usually one year) and the quickest Ontario funds therapy is 4 years (we waited just shy of 3). The reality of Ontario is that most will not see funding until 5 years. The government does not even bother to pretend to care now since they have the economic excuse, last time I had any communication with my MPP I was flatly told to not bother to make any contact on this issue – the government intends to do nothing more than what is being done now.

As you have written many times - the parents are largely left to their own and no government is serious about aiding the vulnerable. In Ontario it is very trendy for politicians to make grand statements to support helping the truly vulnerable but when delivery is needed the vulnerable are getting “all we can afford”. The recent spending scandal here for a billion dollars blown [it will likely tally to over $1.7 billion when the dust settles] on an eHealth system that did not get delivered shows me that it is more important for the pigs to be at the troth than anything else."

Forty-two years after Ontario's unofficial anthem took to the airwaves the government of Ontari-ari-ari-o is simply not helping it's autistic children to stand and grow.

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farmwifetwo said...

They wanted McGuinty.... They got McGuinty.

They refused to vote for change... all b/c they were going to pay for private schools IFF (if and ONLY if) they followed public curriculum and practices...

Not one iota of sympathy here.... Maybe next time they'll think, before they vote.

Claire said...

The Ministry of Health is only too happy to be saying "NO" these days. We got ours too, as I posted a while back. Oddly enough..aside from the unbelievable e-health scandal, the Ministry of Health managed to find enough funds to sponsor all the bands that played in the Toronto Santa Claus parade...I kid you not...they said it right on the air..."Thanks to the Ministry of Health for sponsoring all our bands today!!" Yippee...since when is that part of the Ministry's mandate??

Barry Hudson said...

Hi Harold,

Thank you for bringing Ontario to the front page (sadly again). I very much appreciate this.

Tony Tamer said...

The Ontario ombudsman says the province's inadequate cancer treatment "verges on cruelty":


but he refuses to do anything about the autism situation, which verges on insanity!