Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Autism and the NDP

Hon. Jack Layton
221 Broadview Avenue , Suite 100 (Main Office)
Toronto, Ontario

Dear Mr. Layton

When my son was diagnosed with an autism disorder 10 years ago the
Center for Disease Control in the United States estimated that 1 in 500 persons would be diagnosed with an autism disorder. For the past two years the CDC has estimated that 1 in 150 people are on the autism
spectrum of disorders.

During those ten years, like many other parents, I have advocated for a serious national response to Canada's autism crisis. While some argue academically whether there is a crisis most parents do not. We see the realities of autism every single day. We find great joy in our children but we know that unless a serious national strategy is forged our children's chances for a fulfilling life will be at risk.

To date the federal government response to the autism crisis has been either non-existent or contemptuous of the challenges facing autistic Canadians and those who love and care for them. Charlottetown MP Shawn Murphy proposed a serious national autism strategy, one which would include amendment of the Canada Health Act to require funding of ABA treatment for autism. Peter Stoffer of the NDP was an important supporter of Mr. Murphy's motion. Mr.Stoffer has been a strong advocate for the cause of autistic people in Canada for many years and his hard work is much appreciated.

I ask you Mr. Layton whether the NDP, whatever the outcome of the impending vote, will seek amendment of the Canada Health Act to include coverage of ABA treatment for autism. I would appreciate your informed response. My autistic son would appreciate your response.


Harold L Doherty
Fredericton NB

cc. Facing Autism in New Brunswick


nbt said...

Keep the pressure on, Harold.

Marni Wachs said...

I'm so interested in the answer!