Member’s Statement May 12, 2016 Autism Treatment Cuts

Autism treatment Hansard May 12, 2016

Mr. Peter Tabuns: I want to read today from a speech about the autism cuts, given by my constituent Steven Sherwood at a rally here on May 5.

He said, “The Ontario government is playing a political shell game, justified by trying to balance the budget on the backs of some of the most vulnerable children in our province. This is unacceptable. This is disgusting.”

"Peter”—his son—“has been waiting to receive IBI treatment for almost two years, and while our son will likely receive some therapy under the existing IBI program, he will age out within weeks of starting. He is an incredible child and is full of potential, but he needs intensive therapy like IBI to help him to discover his voice and be given the chance to thrive.

“Bottom line … This program change will eliminate access to intensive services like IBI for the vast majority of Ontario’s autistic children who qualify for it. How can a policy change like this be allowed to continue?

“The government needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with a better plan.”

I want to thank Mr. Sherwood. I want to thank all of the parents who have spoken out, organized and rallied on behalf of their children. I want to thank my colleague Monique Taylor who has been such a strong voice in defence of these children and these families in this Legislature. Again, I want to add to their voices. The government has to change course. It has to protect these children, not cut them off the waiting list.