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(Canada) "A growing number of B.C. children are diagnosed with autism-currently...1 in every 51"

May 5, 2018, (Canada) Yahoo News: B.C. dad pleads for help for 20-year-old son with autism, as wait times for support grow The last thing Keith Encinas wants to do is take his 20-year-old son to hospital for emergency psychiatric care. But because of wait times for programs that help adults with autism, the Victoria dad says it may be the only way his son can get urgent necessary support. … Despite significant cognitive and language challenges, Conner thrived in support programs offered through his schools in Victoria, Encinas said. But when he aged out of the school system at 19 and lost those supports, his behaviour became more than the family could handle. … "When he is with us he requires 100 per cent of our attention. I have four other kids. It's just impossible," Encinas said. Wait for supportive housing In an effort to solve the situation, Conner moved to Saskatchewan to try to live with his mother, but his behaviour issues escalated and he showed violent tendencies. … He has since been approved for residential care services through Community Living B.C. — the crown agency that provides housing and support for those with developmental disabilities. But the agency can't say when a placement may be found, leaving Conner in a psychiatric facility that's not appropriate for his long-term needs, Encinas said. Autism rates increasing A growing number of B.C. children are being diagnosed with autism — currently about one in every 51. With the rate of diagnosis on the rise, the support required for each child's transition to adulthood is an urgent issue for families, said Andrew Pinfold, director of operations at Autism B.C. "When you enter an adult program, quite often you are there for the remainder of your life. So wait lists are very common," he said. "They need help right now. For some families this is a very, very urgent matter." Community Living B.C. currently operates with a budget of $1.02 billion from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. While that's an increase of several hundred million dollars over five years ago, the number of clients the agency serves has also increased in that time to 20,000, compared with around 15,000 five years ago. Social Development Minister Shane Simpson says he is confident Community Living B.C. has the funding it needs. He says delays in receiving services are often the result of trying to find the right fit for individuals with high needs. …

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