EQUITABLE FUNDING FOR ALL PEOPLE WITH AUTISM
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I am a very proud autism mom and advocate of all disabilities.
To those who don’t understand autism and ABA therapy here is a lengthy explanation that I can shorten to this:
A person who has autism will have it for the rest of their life. It never goes away.
No two people living with autism are alike. Each person is unique and needs therapy needs based on their needs NOT age.
You could have 100 children that are all 3 years old and all are diagnosed with autism today. That does not mean they require the same amount of therapy. The spectrum is broad. Some need a lot of ABA therapy, others minimal.
The PC Government of Ontario is now basing funding by age. Which contradictory to what I have just stated above makes NO sense.
Now with the changes announced You will have children who are receiving too much funding because they may only need little therapy (wasted tax paying dollars) and then you will have children who need a lot of funding because their needs are much more.
Therapy is expensive and the ones that need the many hours to have a better future to live independently and not live in group homes or on the streets in the future when their parents can no longer care for them.
Because of the announcement to the changes in the funding in the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) over 8,000 children with autism who are in therapy full time are forced to go back into schools come April 1st simply because we cannot afford it.
This then affects your children in schools because now the schools will use all resources on our children because their needs are so high and impact your child’s education which they definitely deserve to be educated.
Teachers/EAs this will affect you too. Your workloads are already hard enough now imagine that. So many Teachers and EAs have too many students in their classes already, stressed and try their hardest to care for our children imagine how much worse it’ll be for them too.
I want equitable funding and I want all children off of the waitlist but not this way. It is disgusting what this government is doing. It is ethically and morally wrong to base and not provide funding for ABA solely based on age.
The budget can be fixed and used into children with disabilities all disabilities not just autism if we stop with nonsense things like buck a beer as one of many examples.
I’m sorry but going out to a restaurant is a LUXURY. As an autism parent I know I have never had that luxury since our child’s diagnosis. We simply can’t take our child anywhere without being ridiculed, disgusted by others sometimes because they don’t understand and my child does not have the understanding to cope with their surroundings.
But you see that’s where ABA therapy helps tremendously. I first hand have seen my son who is 6 thrive beyond belief. It helps children with autism have life essential skills so they can grow to be independent for their futures.
Last year my son would not look into anyone’s eyes, in the corner, lost, no idea how to go to the bathroom, no idea how to play with toys and so much more it broke my heart.
After one year of therapy, he looks into my eyes, he is learning to feed and dress himself, learning how to use the bathroom properly, playing with toys and understanding colours, letters... all in a year. Could you imagine how amazing he would be after another year and another year of full time therapy?
Not just my son but over 40,000 children in Ontario who are currently diagnosed.ABA is proven scientically and I see it first hand with my own eyes.
Now that’s all been taken away.
The PC Government makes the new OAP budget seem great but when you truly look at it my son will be 7 by the time they say they will give the funding and he will only be able to use $5000 no more than that because it is capped per year for therapy. And again not just my son tens of thousands of others.
Therapy is $55 an hour and he needs 25-30 hours a week.
Let me save you the math it’s over $1,500 a week of therapy. A WEEK! In a year it is almost $80,000. How would $5,000 a year help in any way?
Another thing some may think is well something is better than nothing. Yes this is certainly true and I don’t take anything for granted BUT each child learns differently and again each individual needs are different.
I’ll explain that a bit more in detail:
Lets day as an adult you have a job to do but this job is only done once a month. Some people forget how to complete the task and need to go back to their notes to do it and others easily remember and don’t need to go back to their notes. Everyone is different now they would remember.
That’s the same with ABA therapy. Some children require little and others more, much more. It depends on the needs of the understanding of the individual.
So when the new funding based on the changes to the OAP is given to my son as an example who needs more (much more) ABA therapy $80,000 a year and is given not much $5,000 because it is based on age, this is again wasted tax payers money because it won’t help him, he cannot remember the skills off of $5,000 a year as he requires more hours so essentially it’s wasted money. Taxpayers money.
Please understand that there is so much more behind it all.
I hope I have explained it as best as I can as I live this life daily and know so many others who do too.
There are people I know who have moved from another country to Canada, specifically Ontario to receive therapy services for their children, there are people I know who have sold their homes and assets to give their child therapy.
What do you want us to do sit down and let it continue to happen? We have no choice but to protest and fight.
I also want families to know the autism community supports any other disabilities out there too.
We also want to help you just as much as our children, too. We are your allies.
There definitely needs to be more support for ALL children with any special need and/or disability. We will stand by you always!
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