Today Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, and NDP Critic for Children and Youth Services, Monique Taylor, spoke to hundreds of families who came to Queen’s Park to rally against cuts to autism therapy in Ontario. Parents and children fighting for therapy were joined by Ontario school boards, educators, the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, and labour.
“The Liberals are cutting thousands of children off the waitlist for autism services. Autism doesn’t end at 5, but under the Liberal plan, IBI therapy will,” said Horwath. “Parents, educators, school boards, workers, the Provincial Advocate, and autism experts all say the same thing: children with autism need and deserve access to these therapies. The Premier admitted she was wrong to nearly double drug costs for seniors. She admitted she was wrong to close provincial and demonstration schools. It’s time to admit cutting children off from these therapies is wrong, and ensure these children get the therapies they need.”
Hundreds of parents have visited Queen’s Park to hold rallies and participate in press conferences to fight for the IBI autism therapy their children need. Last month, Kristen Ellison came to Queen’s Park and shared her story about what a loss of therapy will mean for her child. She said, “Realizing I may never hear, ‘Mom, I love you’ is enough to kill a mother inside.”
“These parents are passionate about their children. But they are being blocked by Liberal MPPs on Twitter for simply requesting a meeting,” continued Monique Taylor, NDP Critic for Children and Youth Services. “IBI is essential therapy for children with autism. But the Liberals are trying to balance the books on the backs of these children. These children have been doubly penalized, having had to wait their entire lives on lists, only to be removed and never receive access. Ontarians deserve so much better.”
Horwath and Taylor committed the party to continue fighting for autism therapy.