Thursday, October 02, 2008

October Is Autism Inaction Month In Canada

October is Autism Awareness Month in Canada. On the federal level though it would be more accurate to refer to October as Autism Inaction Month. Neither the Liberals, when they governed, nor the current Harper Conservative regime have taken any serious action to address Canada's Autism Crisis. With one in 150 Canadians and their family members affected by an autism spectrum disorder our federal government, despite its constitutional spending authority, does nothing of substance to provide evidence based treatment for autistic children.

The Harper government has established an autism web page. It also held a sham national "Autism Symposium" from which the voices of advocates for autism treatment for ALL autistic Canadians , regardless of province of residence, were excluded.

No real action is being taken. A federal election is now taking place. The NDP party leader Jack Layton reminds us all of the hard work for the autism cause of NDP MP Peter Stoffer, whose efforts are very much appreciated. But he makes no commitment to take action to address the autism crisis.

The Liberals have also had some strong autism advocates, Senator Jim Munson, and MP's Shawn Murphy and Andy Scott. Their efforts too are appreciated. But it is difficult to understand the Liberal party position on autism enunciated by Stephane Dion, He seems to be saying that, if elected, he might listen to the concerns of stakeholders and provinces. Whoop de doo.

In Canada, October is the month we should remind ourselves of all that our federal government is NOT doing to help persons with autism. And continue fighting on every level of government, including the federal level, to address Canada's autism crisis.

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