Ontario government’s autism program not enough, families and critics say

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Doug Ford

TORONTO — The Ontario government is rolling out the first phase of what it says is more support for families with children on the autism spectrum Friday.

The province made the announcement in a news release on Tuesday, saying it will provide “foundational family services” to support the learning and development of children living with autism.

The government says those services include mentoring, caregiver workshops and coaching tailored to unique regional and cultural needs.

Last year, Premier Doug Ford’s government changed the way it pays for autism treatment in a bid to eliminate waitlists, but the measures reduced the average amount paid to families.

Following a backlash, the government announced it would create a needs-based program starting next year.

NDP critic Monique Taylor says the Ford government promised families a fully implemented program by April 2020 and failed to deliver.

“We’re in August … in the midst of a pandemic and families are receiving no service,” Taylor said in an interview.

“The Ford government should be ashamed of themselves for making this announcement when families were expecting real core services.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 7, 2020.

The Canadian Press

1 COMMENT

  1. Special needs students (SNS) were at one time in facilities equipped to deal with their individual needs. Someone (?) got the “brilliant” idea that they could save money by dumping all these SNS on the general education system.

    Initially they brought in SN workers to help with each case. However, the current PC government got rid of all the SN workers to save money. All they did was dump all of the SNS on teachers who also had larger classes to teach thanks to the current government.

    𝙎𝙞𝙙𝙚 𝙣𝙤𝙩𝙚: 𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙨𝙚 𝙩𝙚𝙖𝙘𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙨 𝙢𝙪𝙨𝙩 𝙗𝙚 𝙝𝙖𝙥𝙥𝙮 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙚 𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙖𝙩𝙩𝙡𝙚 𝙯𝙤𝙣𝙚 … 𝙤𝙤𝙥𝙨 𝙄 𝙢𝙚𝙖𝙣 𝙘𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙨𝙧𝙤𝙤𝙢 … 𝙣𝙤𝙬.

    Teachers were never prepared to deal with all the problems the current PC government created for them. Just before the pandemic closed things down, these teachers spent more time dealing with the SNS than they did teaching those kids who were just there to learn.

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