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(Canada) Ontario: 23,000 children on waiting list for autism services

Dec 18, 2019, Parents burst into tears as Ontario reveals autism program faces another delay 'We're desperate for help from this government and they're giving us nothing' TORONTO — Parents of children with autism burst into tears Tuesday as the Ontario government announced another delay in getting those kids the services they need. Children, Community and Social Services Minister Todd Smith announced that a needs-based program will be phased in over two years, instead of being up and running in April as previously promised. Parents who were watching the announcement, some of them clutching pictures of their children, began weeping and saying, "not good enough." "We're desperate for help from this government and they're giving us nothing," Faith Munoz said later. "This is garbage. This is a very sour Christmas for our families."… In the meantime, families will be invited to apply by March for interim funding of either $20,000 or $5,000 to pay for services, depending on their child's age — the maximum annual amounts they were to get under a failed plan announced earlier this year. That plan sparked outrage, forcing the government to go back to the drawing board and nearly double the amount of money it will allocate to an autism program. Then-minister Lisa MacLeod, who was ultimately demoted, justified the program by saying the wait list of about 23,000 children needed to be cleared. But many parents said they preferred to wait under the old Liberal government program, knowing that once off the waiting list their child would get the needed amount of therapy…. NDP children and youth services critic Monique Taylor said kids with autism need services now, not in 2021. "Any further delay in implementing needs-based autism programming is completely unacceptable and could irreparably damage so many children's developmental potential," Taylor said in a statement.


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