Photo of my son Conor from a few years ago submitted to the Aquinian for an article by
then Aquinian journalism student Karissa Donkin. No progress in residential care and
treatment for severely autistic adults in New Brunswick has been made since that
article or since Conor's autism diagnosis 16 years ago at age 2
June 18, 2014
Dear Mr Alward, Mr Cardy, Mr Coon and Mr Gallant:
A provincial election will soon be held and one of you will be premier, once again if it is Mr Alward, for the first time if it is Mr Cardy, Mr Coon or Mr Gallant. I respectfully ask each of you to consider this request for adult autism residential care and treatment and provide a direct response.
Prior to the commencement of the official election period early autism intervention issues have already received some needed attention in a new early intervention policy which provoked considerable reaction and vigorous discussion. What was not mentioned, what has never been mentioned, what never gets any serious attention, is the desperate need for an adult autism centre that could assist in providing providing ongoing training, leadership and supervision for adult autism group homes and assisted living arrangements and would also provided permanent residential care and treatment for those with severe autism disorders.
The significant changes that occurred in early intervention and autism education in this province happened in direct response to strong parent advocacy primarily from parents with Autism Society New Brunswick. In our efforts we always sought credible evidence based services. We were fortunate in having considerable guidance from Clinical Psychologist and Professor Emeritus (Psychology) Paul McDonnell Ph.D. an autism expert who has been very active in providing public education about autism in New Brunswick.
During the 2010 New Brunswick election Dr. McDonnell was interviewed by CBC on the subject of adult autism care. The interview and analysis posted on the site are no longer available but he stated: