Improve Access to Autism Funding for Children in BC

Improve Access to Autism Funding for Children in BC

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A parent is told by a pediatrician that their child has autism. Children with autism often experience difficulty communicating, learning or have inappropriate or challenging behaviours among other symptoms. Early intensive intervention is extremely effective to help children with autism reach their fullest potential. The Ministry of Children and Family Development provides Autism Funding so that parents can start this critical treatment.

Unfortunately, in spite of having a diagnosis from a BC doctor, the child must wait up to two years or even longer to get a full formal assessment completed before getting access to Autism Funding.

This is essentially DENYING ACCESS to critical medical care during sensitive periods in brain development. The brain is more plastic during the first few years than it will ever be again and has the highest capacity for learning. The consequences of this denial might be very serious and life-long.

COVID-19 has exacerbated the problem but this issue has been in the news since 2017:

https://globalnews.ca/news/4552537/thousands-of-b-c-children-waiting-for-autism-assessment/

https://globalnews.ca/news/6231926/bc-waitlist-autism-assessments/

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/autism-diagnosis-in-bc-wait-times-1.5333335

There is an easy solution that is also cost effective:

We demand that the Ministry of Children and Family Development allow access to Autism Funding as soon as a child has received a diagnosis from a pediatrician or psychologist without the requirement to go through the mandatory official autism assessment with extraordinary long waiting time.

This matter is extremely urgent. Please help hundreds of desperate parents who are left without any support access Autism Funding so they can start the early intervention that their children need.