In the past 36 hours I have criticized CASDA's claims to be advocating for a National Autism Strategy and to be presenting a unified national autism voice. Lawrie Mawlam of CASDA, a conscientious and courteous individual with whom I have had the privilege of talking in recent months, has taken some objection to my criticism and I thank her for expressing her opinions so forthrightly. I hope though that CASDA will consider the criticisms of their efforts before rejecting them defensively. I also ask CASDA, and any one else purporting to advocate for a National Autism Strategy to consider and support the private members bills of Sudbury MP Glenn Thibeault. The two bills express a clear and coherent National Autism Strategy that would be great benefit to autistic Canadians and their families and that is consistent with the efforts by many Canadians seeking a REAL National Autism Strategy for many years before CASDA and its constituent elements began seeking a national approach to autism.
I recommend that CASDA, Conservative MP Mike Lake, and all others seeking a real and meaningful national autism strategy support, and encourage their members of Parliament to support, Glenn Thibeault's private member autism bills as described on Mr. Thibeault's site:
"THIBEAULT RE-INTRODUCES AUTISM LEGISLATION
2011 06 15
OTTAWA – Today MP Glenn Thibeault (Sudbury) re-introduced two Private member`s Bills designed to assist individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders.
The first Bill would amend the Canada Health Act to include Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) and Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) as medically recognised treatments for individuals living with autism spectrum disorders.
The second would create a National Strategy for individuals living with autism spectrum disorders, therefore ensuring that these individuals would receive the highest level of care, regardless of which region of Canada they live in.
“Far too many Canadians and their families are coping with autism spectrum disorders without adequate support from any level of government” said Thibeault. “Together, these two Bills would ensure that all Canadians, irrespective of where they live, have access to the most appropriate forms of care and extended health services.”
“With negotiations between the provinces and federal governments on the Canada Health Accord starting in 2014, I am calling on the Government to implement the provisions of these bills to ensure that individuals suffering from autism spectrum disorders are properly covered by the Accord.”
Autism spectrum disorders are a spectrum of psychological conditions, including autism and Asperger’s syndrome, which are characterised by an impairment of social interaction, restrictive interests and repeated behaviours. Currently, around 1 in 200 Canadians – representing roughly 190,000 Canadians - are estimated to have autism spectrum disorders. Incidence rates have been on the rise over the past decade, with the prevalence rate in children estimated to be 1 in 165.
For further information, please contact:
Alex Bushell, Parliamentary Assistant (Glenn Thibeault): 613-996-8962 or firstname.lastname@example.org"