July 31, 2020, CBC: Amid outcry from parents, Nova Scotia confident in school plan to help kids with autism https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/nova-scotia-autism-supports-education-minister-1.5669110 Nova Scotia's education minister says schools across the province are ready to help children with autism who couldn't complete an intensive therapy program and legally must start school this fall because of their age. Zach Churchill's comments come after parents voiced growing concerns they were being left in the dark. Some parents are calling on the minister to grant them an exemption, and let their children finish the early intensive behavioural intervention program (EIBI), which is supposed to help children develop social and communication skills for school. But when asked Thursday, the minister indicated that's not in the cards. "I believe the literature states the therapy is best for preschool-age children," he said. "We are dealing with a cohort of kids that are no longer of preschool age, that are school age and will be moving into school and so we just have to do our very best to support them in that transition."… Churchill said they bulked up on their resources in schools and partnered with Autism Nova Scotia. "There's been $45 million, including what's in the system this year, for inclusive education support," he said, pointing to a number of specialists who have been hired to work in the schools, including speech language pathologists and autism specialists…. Earlier in July, a spokesperson for EIBI said even if an exemption was granted, they couldn't continue working with this group of children because there are 300 more waiting to start. About 3,600 people have signed an online petition, led by parent Kyle Gracie, calling for more money to support the program. Autism Nova Scotia said Wednesday it was supporting the parents and agreed with the push for more funding….