On March 29th, heading into Autism Awareness month, the Ontario Provincial government announced amajor investment of $333 Million dollars over the next 5 years, to reduce the wait lists and improve services provided to children with autism spectrum disorder.What they did not announce,was the negative impact it would have on thousands of Ontario children living with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
These are the facts:
- Children with autism aged 5 and older no longer qualify for the therapy that is best for them (IBI). The government has stated that the “optimum learning window” is between the ages 2 and 4. There is no such thing as a good or bad time to learn.
- The research shows that the younger a child is when they begin IBI, the better their chances of “closing the developmental gap”. However, there is NO evidence to show that a child over the age of 5 does not benefit from IBI.
- 1,378 children currently obtaining service in the IBI program are being cut out now
- A total of 2,200 children will be taken off the program over the next two years (as they become 5 while waiting for therapy) in this way.
- A one time amount of $8,000 per child is being offered to families to spend on private therapies or support until the new program becomes available.
- The new “Enhanced ABA Program” does not exist yet and will be finalized in the spring of 2018
- In all, a child who was diagnosed at age 3, waited for two years to get therapy and now is 5, will now need to wait another two years until the new program is in place to get much less that what he was initially recommended.