Monday, June 02, 2014

Alward Conservative Government Has Cut Off Funding for Early Autism Intervention Staff Training

Photo by Harold L Doherty: David Alward at the 
NB Power Protest, NB Legislature March 20, 2010
Premier Alward Has Proven to be NO Friend to NB 
children, youth and adults with autism

As expected when it appeared the Alward Conservatives might win the last provincial election in NB our provincial autism services are facing hard times.  The rough trails that I feared were ahead of NB's children, youth and adults with autism now appear downright rocky as indicated in this commentary by Ashley Weaver on the Newschaser Facebook page reacting to the Alward Conservative government cutting elimination of funding for Early Autism Intervention Training:

NB Government Crying to Keep People HERE?? Check this out!
I work for a private company funded by the Department of Education to provide Applied Behavioural Analysis based intervention to preschoolers in New Brunswick who have been diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorders. These services provide a chance for preschool aged children with these developmental disorders to have the opportunity to have intense intervention prior to going to school in order to prepare them for a smooth transition to school.
Two weeks ago the Department of Education notified all 6 New Brunswick Centers providing these services that the funding would be cut as of June 1st, 2014. We no longer have funding for any staff training nor do we receive funding when a client cancels. This means, our staff will be expected to have ZERO paid sick days, they need be ok with having ZERO job stability as clients could cancel at a moments notice and they will no longer be paid during this time. They are also expected to, with no training at all, to conduct programming and follow the principles of ABA.
With this being said I believe that staff in this field will not be able to sustain their job, in turn they will have to find consistent employment elsewhere and we will no longer have qualified staff to offer these services and will not have the funds to train any new staff to replace them. As a result we are doing an injustice to ALL children in New Brunswick who have a Pervasive Development Disorders, we are taking away their chance to augment their skills and bring them to their age appropriate developmental level. We are taking away their opportunity to have qualified staff who know them well present during their school transition. And finally, we are losing educated passionate people who in turn will have to move elsewhere, taking away from New Brunswick’s already diminishing population and giving other provinces our wonderful Autism Support Workers, Lead Therapists and Clinical Supervisors.


Unknown said...

Did anyone verify ?

Loree said...

Interesting . . . I'd like to know the stats on a couple of the statements re missed appointments, sick time and the number of persons already trained to provide ABA.

Anonymous said...

Not good, but be aware that in most parts of the world, parents have to pay 100% of the cost for their kid's ABA lessons.

Anonymous said... is not being cut to families at all it is being cut to agencies billing for hours when families are not attending their ABA sessions. The government is going to be auditing agencies for direct service hours....if families can only attend 10 hours of service or only need 10 hours of ABA weekly the agency is only allowed to bill for those 10 hours not the full 20 therefore no more pocketing money you didn't work for....

Unknown said...

I also work providing ABA treatment to preschool children out of a private center in NB. There are 7 centers in NB that I am aware of, and we have collectively around 400 employees (at least) who provide services and are trained in ABA. With the proposed cuts we will have trained staff leaving and new staff coming in who will not receive proper training. With the new guidelines, they might as well close up shop completely and leave the parents to fend for themselves! But I think anyone who has had a child go through our programs can tell you that our intervention is worth it to the government, the families, the public school system, and the teachers themselves.

Anonymous said...'s verified alright. I work as an ABA Therapist and these changes are implemented as of June 1st. Hardly any notification time for some of the agencies that this was happening. Less than a month for all.Also...if a parent cancels more than one day a month if the child is sick...they face losing services or having services "adjusted" to less hours of therapy.Then they can "reapply" for the hours they are entitled to...and it will take months to get the hours adjusted again.
If a parent cancels the government will NOT pay the agency, therefore the agency cannot pay staff.We will not be paid for any of the time we have to spend setting up programs or work materials unless we do it during the child's therapy time. Which is not easy as we are engaged with the child actually doing therapy when we are with them.

Anonymous said...

Whole story is much more to the centres about it

Anonymous said...

Yes, true Anonymous, however in OUR country we are able to receive help. All our provinces should be able to access the same help though, don't you agree. A person should not have to move to Alberta to get help for their child with a disability. TM

Claire said...

What is frustrating is how short sighted these sorts of cuts are. Children who could benefit are robbed of their futures. What happens to these kids when they are adults? They will absolutely need social supports then. Robbing Peter to pay Paul. Anonymous, your comment is baffling. Because "in most parts of the world" people pay out of pocket, we here have to settle for the lowest common denominator social safety net, or throw up our hands and say, "Gee whiz, it was nice while it lasted"? In "most parts of the world" women and children are still treated like chattel. Does that make it okay if it starts to happen here? I don't get your view point.

Sarah said...

Here is another point of view that explains things clearly and how the changes are actually positive. She not only has a child with autism but was the interim director of ACF for 6 months last year while director was on Mat leave, is trained in Early Special Ed and is an advocate for families and children
~ Sarah

Sarah said...

Here is another point of view that explains things clearly and how the changes are actually positive!! She not only has a child with autism but was the interim director of ACF for 6 months last year while director was on Mat leave, is trained in Early Special Ed and is an advocate for families and children

~ Sarah

Anonymous said...

not in most parts of Canada @Anonymous I know of a family that moved to Alberta so they could get better Autism care for one of their children 10 years ago. It broke their hearts because they had family here and the father had a good job here - but not good enough that he could afford to cover all the care himself.. But off to Alberta they went at the advice of a Doctor they were dealing with in Saint John.

Also this is a case where a penny of prevention, is a dollar of cure. If these kids and their issues get addressed early they are less likely to be burden on society in the future.

Unknown said...

The government did an audit.....the centre's were essentially paid on average for 3 months of therapy time (per child) that was not actually provided to the children. That is a full 25% of funding provided to these Centre's...was for services NOT received by the children they were intended for. Due to cancellations/sick time/staff days off/etc. That is the underlying reason for these changes. The government reacted in a knee jerk, poorly planned way.

The ORGANIZATIONS won't get paid for services not rendered, and they are making the business decision to pass that loss along 100% to their workers. (Most of these orgs offset their funding through private appointments and whatnot as well, it's NOT just government funding they receive).

THAT fault lies purely with the guidelines as written. They are poorly worded, unclear, and do not match the intent. The government needs to come to the table with the parents and the service organizations to fix the clarify of the guidelines to align with their intended ensure that the children are receiving the treatments and therapies that the Centre's are receiving funds to provide.

Anonymous said...

if it wasn't for the aba training my son recieved when he was diagnosed with aspergers , he would not be the same child he is today....that being said, i would not have been able to afford his training myself as I dont have coverage....every child deserves a chance to get this training....whether it comes from the parents or goverment...if paraet cant afford it then gov should step in and cover it...these children NEED this and it works if the teacher is trained properly...however parents need to do their part to....volunteer parents!!

Anonymous said...

I provide therapy in one NB's Autism treatment centres, and I love seeing the difference we can make within a child's life. Unfortunately, the government hired someone externally, to decide how to save money...without consulting with parents or any of the directors, or other staff that work everyday in this field. No, they let someone with no knowledge of Autism, the treatment, or what the families go through each day, to make this decision, and then went with it. The Agencies had very little notice before they expected change to be implemented. I feel awful for the children, anyone who has young children know that it is very difficult to keep them from getting sick, throughout the the year, and now that staff no longer have sick time, it will be even more difficult to keep from spreading illness. I encourage all parents to learn the facts and know that most people who work in this field are very passionate about it, and are on the same side, wanting the best for these kids and continue to have our jobs that we love. Agencies are not to blame here - only the government!!

Holly Cabell said...

It is a sad day in NB. Perhaps things might be different if the governing bodies have autistic children or grand children.

Anonymous said...

If not for the training my son receives through this program he would not be making the strides he is today. I have rarely cancelled my son's training excepting DR appointments or sickness. I would not be able to afford all the therapy.

This training is a life saver. And it is hard work. It does feel like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

And yes I just got a letter stating that if my training gets cancelled then my hours will get cut and I will have to reapply to raise my hours. Who moderates that? When who cancels? Me or the centre because they are short staffed?

By all means there should be guidelines. But apparently only Alward is allowed sick days.

James said...

My wife is a CYW with a degree, and we moved here in October (Saint John) to help a family member in need, and she was able to land a job with one of the programs in Saint John that are directly affected by this change. She makes $12.50/Hour. She does not get sick time now, and must work with children who are going to be sick. Not only that, but if they are sick or absent, ie. have doctor's appointments, which a lot of these children have regular appointments, they lose funding. The relationship my wife has built with the child is gone. Parents value this relationship greatly, most often they say it's the people caring for their children and teaching them, that change these children for the better. That's what no-one seems to get. These people aren't doing this for money, there are no "private appointments" and it is "just government funding they receive". My wife came home in tears, because now she doesn't get to change a child's life for the better, giving them skills we take for granted. Now, she doesn't have any rights herself, let along the children she's caring for. What's not seen here, is that this isn't a change for money that these people care about, it's how it reflects the government's opinion of not only the children, but the employees as well.
What most people don't realize is that the government spent a ton of money on this audit that supposedly discovered a bunch of discrepancies. Money that could have been put to good use, like getting these children a better environment. Anyone who's been there knows, the employees are corralled into a small room with a work area about 3 feet wide and 2 feet deep, and are asked to work in this environment every day with these children, and are also asked to pay for their own supplies. The government supplies nothing. So they are basically paying these people nothing, giving the children no respect, and on top of that, now saying they will not even give them sick days, or the security of knowing they'll have a full day of paid work every day they go. I don't see Alward taking a pay cut, do you?

Unknown said...

did i miss it.. or did they give a reason for the cuts....

Anonymous said...

The agencies have been paid for "on average for 3 months of therapy time (per child) that was not actually provided to children", this is true. What is unsaid by above writer is that the by the previous standards all children that were receiving services required a full developmental assessment to be completed, which could not be billed directly to the government and the funding needed to be used. Private psychologists charge for this and essentially it costs an entire month of funding. In the revised standards this can be billed directly to the government and that would reduce the wait for intervention to start. So please note, that this is one good change to the standards. Now for the other one to two months it took to get a child started. The funding is and has always been provided per child and therefore doesn't allow for agencies to have staff trained and ready to go. The government will dispute this fact. There are very few people that come to the agencies trained in ABA principles, and therefore need to be trained. Most of the agencies, if not all have developed their own training practices as there hasn't been something agreed upon by the Government. Even when the province had a required training with UNB-CEL, employees needed to be with an agency for minimal 6 months to be accepted into that program.

Anonymous said...

Continued #2
So by due diligence the agencies created their own training programs in order to achieve the best results for the children served. One agency that I am aware of, developed an 80 hour training (1 month) of theory and hands on practice. Whenever possible a new ASW was paired with the child they would be working with along with a more experienced ASW, therefore the child would receive 10 hours the first month, with 2 ASW's. This was to ensure that the ASW knew the basic principles of ABA and could begin working individually with the child feeling confident in what they were doing (aiding in staff retention). Training is ongoing through supervisions, but placing a new ASW in a home for 20 hours a week, with zero ABA skills does not feel ethical to any clinician and does not demonstrate best practices. Now in addition to this training, the additional month when required typically was a result of difficulty in recruiting qualified people. The services are offered throughout the province and in more rural areas it is often difficult to find qualified people or in months when there may be 7 or 8 new referrals it is difficult to recruit that amount of people.

Anonymous said...

Continued #3
During the audit mentioned above, agencies were asked what they felt was there biggest challenges. If asked the auditors would have to tell you that staff retention and parent accountability were two of the biggest concerns. What the government came back with in the new Standards is that there is a 95% attendance policy with no exceptions. So essentially if a child misses more than 1 day in a month, the agencies will not receive funding for those hours, this would make it difficult to pay the ASW that was scheduled to be with the child. Agencies agree that families should be receiving services, and often there are families that are very flighty in their attendance, these are the families the agencies asked for help with, have them accountable. But now, the ones that will receive this consequence are those that do attend as much as they can, but sometimes there are factors outside their control. For instance, when does a preschooler get sick for only 1 day? Or when therapy is offered in homes, what parent wants ASW's in their home when the stomach flu is running through the house? A family that experiences a death in the family and feels they need to take a couple of days of this month to grieve? For a community that is hit by New Brunswick weather and have no power for 6 days due to an ice storm or their community floods and their home is underwater? Or a family that has a child diagnosed with other health issues and needs to travel to the IWK for tests and treatments? These are the families that will be punished as because of these factors agencies are told that they would have to renegotiate with the family to what they can commit too. 95% with zero exceptions is impossible. As stated if the agency doesn't receive funding for those hours, it is difficult to pay the ASW, if the ASW loses hours every time a family cancels, how will an agency maintain their trained people. And of courese with no indirect hours to be funded, it is hard to train the staff before placing them with a child in a home.

Anonymous said...

Continued #4
The government will say that the agencies should be able incur these costs, but at approximately $26/hr how do the agencies maintain ASW's, Clinical Supervisors and the Admin staff it takes to document all the information the government requires monthly, to maintain quality assurance and to remain operational and most importantly be able to offer things like sick time, health benefits and professional development?

Changes to the program were asked for by the agencies, but the changes that the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development have put into place in the new Standards will make it impossible for the agencies to remain operational. The bigger question should be “is it the intention to maintain sustainability of this program or is it to have the agencies all close their doors and to return to a system where funding was provided to families that would only need to fund direct hours as there would be no overhead required?”

Anonymous said...

It isn't about agencies billing for more hours than services received, it's about families being the ones that everything relies on. If a family chooses not show up for a scheduled appointment it is the agency and it's employees that are punished, agencies, can't bill families for not showing up.
In the past, if a family that only wanted or "needed" 10 hours of intervention, the agencies would adjust funding to represent the hours actually being scheduled and hopefully provided. These changes mean that a staff person could show up for work and the client they are assigned to doesn't show up, there would be no funding. No notice, no cancellation, nothing. If an EA is working in the school system and assigned to a certain child, is the District not funded that day for that child if he is out ill?

Anonymous said...

once again its all about the money and not the children. but there are two sides to every story aren't there? as a parent of an autistic child who attended a clinic funded by the government,it was very frustrating when i got a call saying my son's therapist was sick....again. as we know these hours of therapy for our children are of EXTREME importance. the government is paying for services for our children NOT for sick days or appointments. the companies who hire these workers should be paying their sick time. and if a client cancels then WHY should the government pay for services not received? as for the is the most important part of working with our exceptional children! how do you expect a person to be able to provide services they are not trained to do? someone needs to do something about that. i know i would feel more confident about my child going to a complete stranger for therapy if i knew he\she was properly trained. i am curious about these audits....if these companies were doing things that were...ahem...not so honest,then that is ANOTHER issue. i hope that the most important thing is kept in the spotlight through all this...our children.

Unknown said...

Lindsay stated:

"Secondly, Harold, who I work with from time to time and highly respect, met with the E.Ed Provincial team and agreed that these changes are great and a much needed plan!"

With respect that is not correct Lindsay. I was consulted by the consultants and the in house people. Prior to meeting with them I contacted other parents and persons I knew in the intervention centres for their views on the needs of training and intervention.

I have not called any of the programs "great". I don't talk that way and I never have. Unless I am talking about my family members, close friends and people who have been instrumental in delivering autism services in NB with the #1 person being retired UNB Professor and Clinical Psychologist Paul McDonnell without whom most of the autism services received by autistic children would not exist.

Along with other parents I advocated for many years for:

(1) properly trained therapists

(2) providing evidence based ABA for early intervention for autistic pre school children.

...... continued

Unknown said...


I was also directly involved with obtaining a written commitment from the Graham government to train 100 TA's and Resource Teachers per year for a period of four years (total 400)for autistic students. That commitment was opposed by some including some high ranking Education Dept officials who threatened me with legal actions many in the NBACL who tried to convince the Graham government to go back on the commitment.

I support changes to ensure that every child with autism gets the full 20 hours of ABA as PRIORITY 1 ( I would actually prefer to see as much as 30 hours if NB could afford it) but if a plan offers 20 THAT is what I expect to see provided.

I believe that the comment from Newschaser has done a good service in raising this issue and I have seen other documents backing up the comment.

What is missing and what I objected to in my blog is the impact on training of staff to work with autistic children in the Centres. UNB-CEL Autism Training is top notch developed by among others Dr. Larsson one of the foremost experts in the world.

I was contacted again today by an individual with the EECD Department and asked about the reaction to the changes. It was a polite, courteous and helpful conversation.

I informed the contact person that I am one of the persons who has criticized the impact on training of staff. I DO NOT support in house training at the centres. I have always advocated for UNB-CEL training which has been praised by professionals in the field.

I was informed that the document released is Phase 1 of the review and that training will be addressed in a second phase. Whether that happens remains to be seen. I pointed out that the very short notice received at the agencies has contributed to some of the negative reaction to the plan and has had an adverse impact on some.

I suggested that a clear public commitment to provide proper training would be important to address the training issue.

I have not expressed my opinion on the employment relationship issues generally between Agencies and intervention workers other than the short notice and the impact of that short notice on people providing autism services.

My focus is, and always has been on trying to ensure that hours dedicated to children, the 20 hours, actually result in 20 hours of properly trained ABA intervention. I will wait until a commitment is made on the training phase to assess that commitment.

People are entitled to express their opinions and take the actions they see as necessary. My recommendation is that parents focus on ensuring that their children receive the full 20 hours and take any steps they can to see that is done and provided by properly trained personnel.

To go back to Lindsay's comment about what I agree with I agree with taking steps necessary to ensure each autistic child gets the full 20 hours. This plan on my first reading looks like it will do that and I will need time to do more reviews. If the training commitment is provided and looks appropriate I will support that.


Harold Doherty

Anonymous said...

My son has autism he is 16 years old. We did not have Centres to help him like we do today. I said the other day to someone how wonderful it was that New Brunswick has such a great program to deal with Autism . Shame on the Government trying to save money by squeezing money from the kids who really need this crucial therapy..

Anonymous said...

I am OK with trying to make sure that my child gets his 20hr/week.

But I take offence to a mandatory 95% rule, 1 Day a month rule - no exceptions. For one, if kids get really sick it is usually more than 1 day in a month. They have to follow the same exclusion as the day care centres. So great, my child gets strep or something from daycare and suddenly his hours are going to be penalized?

And now it seems I am going to have to cancel any vacation plans. Yes that is right - we were actually going to take a vacation. THE HORROR. Even autistic kids and their parents need a vacation. But now it seems if we do take our annual vacation we will be penalized and then have to 'apply' to get those hours back.

We know how important structured as many hours as possible a week ABA therapy is. And we are NOT the 'flighty' parents who do not show up or cancel for ridiculous reasons.

I can't even begin to tell you how much his therapy has changed our lives for the better.

But I am VERY ANGRY at the way this 'control' is being implemented and how the children are basically being punished.

I can tell you that I am NOT in the 25% free ride category.

But once again apparently if you are this mysterious consultant or Alward you can get sick or take vacation.

Teachers get sick time - why is this any different? Hell students barely show up for K12 school and I don't see PETL docking teacher pay for when their students don't show up.

And not paying for training? Or job shadowing for training new people? Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

These therapies are very important for our lil ones futures. This is the time in their lives when properly administered therapy would make the difference in our kids lives The funding is needed to provide both the therapies,and the training to allow the ASWs to properly administer them. We need to continue to invest in our kids futures. We need to think practically in addressing funding for the centers and their staff training. These people are committed to our childrens wellbeing,and this province has to commit to these wonderful educators. Im begging you, to some of us parents and get our point of view. I wouod be happy to speak to you anytime. I have already left my contact info at your office. BN

Anonymous said...

my daughter was almost 4 when finally diagnosed- that year of ABA in home we received made the difference for her and for us - without it I shudder to think how our school yrs since would have been - we still struggle with issues and she shares a TA with other students and always has but the fundamentals in her ABA changed my child and I am afraid to think that some other child would lose out on it when it is so important...working and diagnosing these children early leads to better results and implementation of essential services to further their learning and growth as well as future productivity- invest in our children now - it will lessen costs later

Anonymous said...

He probably doesn t have a child that is autism, selfish

Anonymous said...

Our son received the diagnosis a few months ago, he is still waiting for an appointment from the agency to begin therapy.

We finally received a call and appointment time with the agency, then a few days before they cancelled it and said they would call back later, we did not know what to think...but it was because of these new guidelines.

This issue between the agency and government is having an impact on the child and families who are in the waiting line, I hope they can figure it out soon.

Anonymous said...

It clearly states the to document( that 2 weeks of vacation is acceptable for each client to take (page 13 section 5). The 95% rule is intended to force the agencies to review how much time is being spent on services not being given to the clients they are meant to serve. It does not say anywhere that services will be revoked if you go over said amount. It clearly says (page 13 section 5) that 95% is a target. If your child is sick this is not the same as last minute cancellation on a regular basis or no shows. This new rule, lets say, is meant for the agencies to be more aware of what is going on, how many times are parents cancelling then evaluate if the family would benefit from a reduced schedule of therapy.

Unknown said...

As a parent who has an autistic son , I am so angered by this. Autistic children and parent's who are dealing with this are emotional and financially spent and ABA is sometimes the only thing us parents have to hold on to. Now they are making it so difficult for the families and the children are getting penalized if they get sick , doctors appointments and so forth, Also, lets remember here some of us have other children or are single moms who are trying our best to work around aba schedule. ABA is a treatment for my son , but at this rate the government seems to see autistic children and adults more like a problem then anything. Parent's need to band together , this is unjust no matter how they would like to spin it. Imagine if you were trapped in a box and couldn't communicate , this is how some of them feel and they can not fight for themselves. I know I would want someone to fight for me.

Anonymous said...

Autism diagnosis has been on the rise worldwide for some time now. As all families living with Autism knows it takes a tremendous amount of focus to help our little ones learn to navigate through life. These interventions are needed in early childhood,when our kids are most likely to gleen the skills being taught. The government of NB had for many years put our children's needs as a priority,allowing funding for intervention therapies,and for funding to properly train Autism educators to administer these therapies to our children. This was something that I and many of my friends/family were tremendously proud of and grateful for. The Gov't of NB was doing things right. The changes to funding are shortsighted,questionable,and terrifying. If our children's therapy is cut back due to illness( most of the time 95% attendance is no problem!but when a child gets pneumonia,or flu,etc it could take days or even a week to recover.). My son attends regularly,but has on occasion gotten ill enough to be out for a few days. I'm very worried about how it will play out next time he's sick and I have yo choose between losing funding or a (significant) period of time,or bring him to school ill. I've spoken with some people in government who whitewashes these concerns,implying its a safeguard for kids who are out for extensive medical issues,and not for most kids. I did not see any clarity about this issue in the letter we received. My next question is who came up with the ideas for these changes,and who okay'd them? I'm sure a third party auditor was used. Did this auditor propose changes? If so,what,if any, dialogue with people in our Autism community did they consult? Do the people implementing the changes have any genuine knowledge of Autism,or what therapies have been used in our children's agencies? Do they realize the amount of committment and training it takes for the staff to compassionately and accurately conduct these therapies? These people love our kids and pour themselves into their work. They are invested in making every client a success story. They do,however,have their own families at home,and need to have financial security to be able to stay in these jobs. If the funding cuts aren't renegotiated these ASWs are going to have to make the tough choices to move on to jobs that they can count on earning an agreed upon wage for agreed upon work. If,through no fault of their own,their clients are not present they staff should not be penalized. Would you,MrAlward,show up to work each day if we, the people of NB started to randomly decide days that you would not be paid for? I doubt you would. Most people would not find this pay plan stable enough to stay on. SO, if we lose our ASWs,and there is no funding for new staff training,......what's the plan? Hire people willy nilly and hope for the best? If improperly trained staffing is the new way,my dear MrAlward,then I am applying as your Chief of Staff. I'm untrained in that vocation,but Ill muddle through. After all....isn't this the new way? As I've stated in an earlier post,I feel it would do a world of good if you spoke to some parents and hear our stories. We have wonderful little angels in our lives,and for each of us our child's agency they attend,and the staff have made wonderful,lifelong changes in the lives of our little ones. Please hear some of these stories. I have left my contact info at your office. I also think if you contacted an agency and spent a couple of hours job shadowing an ASW you would have a new perspective,and immense respect for our agencies staff. We are very lucky to have these people in our kids lives. Walk a day in their shoes,then talk about budget cuts. I dare you. BN

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Well said! We do get paid next to minimum wage to sit in a small cubicle with 3-5 other cubicles in the room and we supply our own toys ( for reinforcement) and supplies. Flash cards are provided on a sign out basis. There is a ton of paperwork that needs to get filled out to show the child's progress, clock their hours, and to prove to the government what we are doing. We have binders that need to be kept up to date, we need to prep and print off other materials used in therapy and have half an hour before each child comes to do this as well as a half hour at the end of the day to finish our daily paperwork. It is tough enough as it is to get it all done. When a client called in sick and there were no other clients to take which was far and few between we were given a chance to organize our binders and catch up on any paperwork, clean our center, or help out with any other tasks that needed to be done. We were given the option to go home without pay which some did. We can't do all of these things during therapy. We are already documenting their progress as we go. It just doesn't make any sense. We were even writing the reasons given by families on their attendance sheets so the government could see why therapy was being missed.