Autism is rising. Autism has been rising for the past decade. Since my son's autism diagnosis 13 years ago the numbers, as recognized by the CDC in the United States, have changed from approximately 1 in 500 to 1 in 110. It is long past time that Canada had a REAL National Autism Strategy, one which recognized the need to deal with autism seriously, across Canada, and stop using it as just another political football. Autism disorders are exactly that, they are neurological disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association. Autism disorders restrict the lives of many who suffer from them. Some autistic Canadians, on the high functioning end of the spectrum, need little or no assistance and can function well in any capacity from postal worker to researcher but many need a REAL national autism strategy and this election is the time to start serious efforts to provide one.
It is time that evidence based effective interventions for autism disorders, soon to be combined under the designation Autistic Disorder in the DSM5, be specifically covered under our national medicare scheme. Canadian children with autism should not be disadvantaged by the particular province or territory in which their parents reside. Canadians should not be forced to choose which province to live in based on which province offers the best treatment services for their autistic children. In THIS federal election it is time to move forward with our thinking and specifically and expressly provide funding aimed at provision of autism treatment services in every corner of Canada. If you are a concerned parent, family member or friend of an autistic child raise the issue of Medicare for Autism with your federal election candidates.
The numbers of autistic adults are growing in Canada and a real national autism strategy must also address the need for appropriate, decent residential care for many of them. Our national attention has very appropriately been focused more and more on the need to provide accommodation for our elderly population. It is time to pay attention to the nearly 1% of Canadians with autism disorders and those of them that will require residential care and treatment.
Speak up now for Medicare for Autism in Canada. Speak up now for a REAL Canadian national autism strategy.
Take action. Do it now. In this 2011 Canadian federal election.