Tuesday, September 23, 2008

On Autism Issues Illinois Governor Shames Canada's Party Leaders

There is a federal election underway in Canada but autistic children and adults and their families are not included. NONE of the leaders of Canada's federal parties will commit to taking any real action to help. Not one.

Conservative leader Stephen Harper and his party continue their longstanding and total neglect and lack of concern for autistic children and adults in Canada. NDP leader Jack Layton recounts the excellent work done by NDP MP Peter Stoffer, a true champion of autistic individuals and their families, but makes no commitment himself, or on behalf of his party, to help. Likewise Liberal leader Stephane Dion who actually voted for Liberal MP Shawn Murphy's unsuccessful motion to amend the Canada Health Act to provide ABA coverage for autism under Medicare has offered to talk to provinces and stakeholders to listen to their "concerns". Green Party leader Elizabeth May has, so far, been silent on autism issues.

In the US, by contrast, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich called lawmakers into special session to deal with a state Senate committee measure that seeks to require insurance companies to cover expanded treatment for autism, as reported in the Chicago Tribune:

It's the Senate's third attempt this year to approve the measure, which would require insurers to cover up to $36,000 a year and unlimited doctor visits until age 21 for people with autism spectrum disorders.

In Illinois Governor Blagojevich takes action to ensure funding for autism treatment. In Canada our federal leaders either ignore autism altogether or offer self congratulatory sermons with no commitment or action to back them up. I am sure Governor Blagojevich does not have Canada in mind with his determination to help autistic children and their families in Illinois but he does, by example, put our federal leaders to shame.


Marni Wachs said...

Canadian politicians are wearing blinders on the autism issue. It's absolutely unreal that all this can be happening around them and they are completely oblivious to it. This is not a good sign for our future.

When the rights of children and people with disabilities have been agreed to and celebrated by the United Nations, we are sure not being the role model nation that we have a rep for. How long can Canada be a poser on these issues, specifically on autism?

It's time to start questioning and pressuring the intellectuals, researchers, policy makers, public health, medical organizations as well. I'd be willing to bet that the politicians are burying their collective head in the sand based on misinformation and minimalization from some of these Canadian authorities. I can think of one specific well-known Canadian researcher who is restricting progress IMO on the autism issue. I won't list him here because I don't want to deal with any consequences for naming him.

It feels pretty sad to far outstepped by the States on many autism-related issues. Embarrassing - have YOU seen Sicko!?

earthlingorgeous said...

Wow! and to think Canada is one of the forward countries in the world. So what are you doing to cope? I really thought there are facilities in there that are very good. This is so sad.