I have been engaged in autism advocacy during the recent Canadian federal election. I do so at the federal level for the sole purpose of trying to ensure that all Canadians with serious autism disorders have access to Applied Behavior Analysis for treatment of their core autism symptoms.
I have advocated for over 15 years with other parents and with politicians like the late Fredericton MP Andy Scott who with Nova Scotia MP Peter Stoffer did manage to put autism on the Canadian political map with their joint private members' motion. The motion set out some directions for a federal National Autism Strategy, directions which have been totally ignored by the current Harper Conservative government and by their pet autism charity Autism Canada which has never contributed to the struggle by parents from BC to Atlantic Canada who fought for, and continue to fight for Medicare coverage of evidence based Applied Behaviour Analysis for those with autism disorders. Watching the Harper Conservatives and their charity Autism Canada continue to ignore the only science based autism treatment for autism can be discouraging but not defeating.
As long as I can have daily adventures with my son Conor, now 19, I will never quit, I will never stop fighting for the right things to be done to actually help people who actually suffer from autism disorders and related conditions. Conor has had some serious health issues in recent years with the full blooming of his seizure issues and dangerous adverse reactions to some seizure meds. Today though as we walked Fredericton's North Riverfront Trail that we have walked so often I saw something I hadn't seen in a while ... the Run Jump Fly Boy was back. He flew down the trail jumping into the air, both feet leaving the ground and enjoying life to the max. Then he sat on a bench with Dad for a few minutes soaking in the fresh fall air. And it made his old Dad and grizzled autism advocate feel good too ... very, very good and more determined then ever to continue fighting for meaningful, evidence based treatment for all persons suffering from autism disorders and related conditions.