1 in 54 boys have autism. My son has Autism. He is 3 and nonverbal but with the help of the Child Development Centre at the Hotel Dieu hospital he is learning the picture exchange program. (PECS) Finally he is starting to communicate with us. Communicate so that we both understand. He use to only look at me straight in the eye begging for me to understand what his gestures were trying to tell me. He knew what he wanted but he couldn't say it. I,as his mother, should know. Every mother should be able to communicate with their child. Progress has happened over the last 3 months. However, now has come word that due to a maternity leave a social workers postion will not be filled and in 3 months a main speech therapist position will also not be filled. All because of cutbacks. This is my sons wonderful speech therapist. There will be no 1:1 speech assistance once a week for my child (and many other children) to learn, to prosper and for me as a parent to learn and continue at home. Over a year we had to wait for speech therapy. Numbers are on the rise for autism and yet things are being cutback! You may be thinking this doesn't affect you -- but what if it does?? What if in 6 mnths from now you notice something may be wrong with your son or daughter. It may not be autism it may be something else. Would you want to wait years for professional assistance??? With the proper help and care these children may someday be scientests, leaders, doctors and so much more.
I am petitioning so that as parents we demand that our children get proper care. The first years of life are the most important. Let us not cover their tiny mouths and turn away from them.
We, the undersigned of the attached petition, are requesting that the upcoming Speech Therapy and current Social Work maternity leave positions at the Hotel Dieu Child Development Centre in Kingston be filled with newly hired qualified staff. We ask there be no more cutbacks.
It is common knowledge that the current workloads of the remaining staff are already overwhelming and our children deserve the same support they have been receiving. We do not want wait lists to become even longer and the proven 1:1 support be interrupted.
Children battling autism and other special needs deserve early intervention to reach their full potential. Please ensure that the funding is in place to fill these positions. Our innocent childrens future depends on it!